South Dublin shoppers to see swathe of new retail schemes
In contrast to the UK retail market, where more than 300 store closures are forecast for this year, developers are gearing up to expand or develop swathes of new retail outlets in Dublin - and especially in the suburban Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council area.
These will follow recent completions in other parts of Dublin, including Airside Shopping Centre in Swords, where a neighbourhood scheme of 3,050 sq m accommodates a new Tesco and three other retail units.
In the west of the county, Liffey Valley Retail Centre has also been extended to accommodate a new neighbourhood centre anchored by a Tesco Extra, the firm's largest new Irish store, along with five independent retail units and a café.
According to a report by Cushman & Wakefield, planning is also being revised for an extension to the Liffey Valley Centre, which would provide a large mixed leisure, entertainment, commercial and retail offering.
But the main thrust of retail development is on Dublin's southside. In Blackrock, both Frascati Shopping Centre and its neighbour, Blackrock Shopping Centre, are undergoing major revamps.
An extension at Frascati will increase its total gross floor area from 9,290 sq m of lettable space to 15,790 sq m.
The C&W report, entitled 'Retail Development Pipeline Ireland', says an extended M&S and a new Aldi have been confirmed and construction is likely to be complete by the end of this year or early 2019.
Less than two kilometres away, Kennedy Wilson has added a 1,200 sq m extension at Stillorgan Shopping Centre to accommodate a larger Tesco along with a new restaurant.
Meanwhile, seven kilometres further south along the N11, Hines has received planning permission for a new Cherrywood Town Centre, which will comprise about 53,500 sq m, including 32,100 sq m of retail, leisure and community space as well as 1,269 build-to-rent apartments and 9,026 sq m of offices, plus a 204-bedroom hotel - all of which are expected to be completed by 2021.
As leisure activities are playing a greater role to entice consumers to spend more time and money in shopping centres, Hines has included a large multi-screen cinema as well as 3,743 sq m of food hall.
It will be situated on an elevated site at Cherrywood Luas Stop.
At the next Luas stop, the Bride's Glen terminus, the county council's own property firm, DLR Properties, is seeking a developer for its 13-acre site, which has potential for about 13,000 sq m of retail, ancillary retail and community services in a 74,320 sq m development. This will comprise mainly offices, as well as about 360 apartments. It's about 6.6kms from Dun Laoghaire town centre, or a 15-minute drive away.
Meanwhile at The Park, Carrickmines, which is 3.8kms or a five-minute westwards drive along the M50 from Cherrywood, IPUT, the Irish property investment fund, has applied for planning permission for a new mixed-use development at Quad 3, which the county council has designated as a location for a neighbourhood centre.
IPUT's plans comprise a gross floor area of 83,996 sq m, excluding the basement car parks. Its new retail units will introduce two grocery supermarkets of 1,725 sq m and 1,390 sq m. There will also be 18 other retail units and three retail service units, six retail warehousing units and 446 sq m for a car showroom.
IPUT already accommodates nine retail warehousing units extending to 18,500 sq m in Phase One of The Park, which it bought from Nama for €95m, and this section is home to retailers including Woodie's DIY, Next, PC World, Halfords and Smyth's Toys.
A 2013 study showed that The Park, including another section known as Phase 2, already had as much as 33,500 sq m of retail warehousing at that time.
IPUT says the net floor area of its planned Quad 3 will be 56,000 sq m. As many as 130 apartments will be located on the five upper floors of Block B, where the ground floor will accommodate shops and retail service units. Quad 3 will also include more than 17,600 sq m of offices.
Considering The Park's proximity to Cherrywood and also considering the scale of both of these retail centres, their closeness to both the M50 and N11, as well as their more central strategic locations, they are both likely to pose serious competition for the two top retail locations at the eastern and western ends of the affluent county council area.
According to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown's County Development plan, at the top of its retail hierarchy sit two major town centres: Dun Laoghaire town and Dundrum. Next in the hierarchy are the four district centres of Blackrock, Stillorgan, Nutgrove, Cornelscourt and Cherrywood.
The plan cites only three examples of established neighbourhood centres: Ballybrack, Ballinteer and Sandyford but does not mention that there are in fact about a further six established neighbourhood centres at Dalkey, Deansgrange, Glasthule, Monkstown, Shankill and Glenageary/Sallynoggin. Perhaps this is because some may consider Glasthule and Monkstown as part of Dun Laoghaire town.
Seemingly because The Park is considered a retail park, the county development plan does not mention it within the hierarchy at all and only refers to the area of Carrickmines as a new neighbourhood centre.
It mentions Stepaside and Ticknock as two other such centres, but those are much smaller and could not in any way be considered as shopping destinations like The Park.
The county plan also refers to expected new major residential developments at Woodbrook/Shanganagh, Kiltiernan/Glenamuck, Cherrywood and Old Conna, and because of their scale of populations, they too may require more new retail facilities.
And all of the above do not include the neighbouring Bray Town centre, which is only about 2kms of the proposed new developments at Woodbrook/Shanganagh on the south-eastern tip of the county.
Oakmount, headed by Paddy McKillen Jnr and Matt Ryan, has been selected to develop a new town centre on the Florentine site on Bray's main street. It will include two large retail anchors, eight medium-size retail stores, several high-quality restaurants, a modern cinema and parking.