Sunday 15 September 2019

The Park will create new retail, leisure space in Carrickmines

Green light: Quad 3 The Park, Carrickmines, will bring a swathe of new retail space to the Dun Laoghaire area
Green light: Quad 3 The Park, Carrickmines, will bring a swathe of new retail space to the Dun Laoghaire area
Donal Buckley

Donal Buckley

Iput's success in securing the green light for its new development at The Park Retail Park at Carrickmines appears to have raised little controversy in the local elections even though it will likely contribute to a glut of retail space in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown (DLR) County Council area.

In all it could bring to more than 146,000 sq m or 1.57 million square feet the amount of retail space in the pipeline for Dun Laoghaire county area. That would effectively mean adding more retail space to the council area as is currently in Dundrum Town Centre.

Earlier this month DLR County Council (DLRCoCo) gave its backing for Iput's plans for an 83,996 sq m (904,125 sq ft)project of which 26,134 sq m (281,304 sq ft) will include retail, leisure and food and beverage space at The Park. The larger project also includes apartments and offices.

This retail space will be in addition to the new town centre which Hines is currently developing nearby at the next junction of the M50. In the TC1 section of Cherrywood, Hines is building a 96,900 sq m (104,303 sq ft) mixed-use development that includes 33,900 sq m (364,896 sq ft) of retail space which will be completed for Christmas 2022.

It will include 19,100 sq m (205,591 sq ft) of restaurants, cafes, and bars, as well as a 14-screen cinema as part of its entertainment and leisure offering. A 1,500 sq m (16,146 sq ft) community facility will also be located at this site. There will also be 10,000 sq m (107,639 sq ft) of office space and 365 of apartments for rent.

In total, Cherrywood Town Centre will comprise of 1,300 apartments across the TC1, TC2 and TC4 sites.

Also in another part of Cherrywood, the council's own property company, DLR Properties, is in the course of disposing of its 13 acre TC3 site which has potential for about 13,000 sq m (139,931 sq ft) of retail, ancillary retail and community services. Most of TC3 would be offices and about 360 apartments.

The Irish Independent reported earlier this year that developer Johnny Ronan's Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) had entered into advanced negotiations with DLR Properties with a view to acquiring this TC3 site.

Meanwhile, on the western side of The Park, the Dundrum Retail Limited Partnership (DRLP), the Hammerson and Allianz vehicle which owns Dundrum Town Centre, has signalled that it believes there is potential for an additional 30,000 sq m (322,917 sq ft) of retail floor space in the centre itself through adding extensions and repurposing of other non-retail space.

DRLP also identified significant further retail space potential for what it calls Phase 2 which would redevelop the old Dundrum shopping centre now called Dundrum Village centre. It currently accommodates stores such as Lidl, Dealz, a post office and cafes.

DRLP also points out that DLRCoCo's current development plan suggests potential for 36,000 sq m (387,501 sq ft) of net retail floor space for the Phase 2 lands and it bases this measurement on DLRCoCo's grant of planning permission in 2009 for that amount of retail space to the former owner, Lenridge company, headed by Joe O'Reilly.

Based on these figures, DRLP argued in a recent submission to DLRCoCo as part of the consultation on the forthcoming Dundrum Local Area Plan, that the council should increase the allocation of net additional floor space for Dundrum to 66,000 sq m (710,418 sq ft). That would amount to a 53pc increase in Dundrum retail and it does not include the smaller retail shops not owned by DRLP.

On the north-eastern corner of the county, construction is already well advanced on the 7,430 sq m (79,976 sq ft) extension to Frascati Shopping Centre which will bring its retail space to around 16,000 sq m (172,223 sq ft). Part of this is already opened and trading and the remainder is due to be complete by June.

Less than two kilometres away, Kennedy Wilson has added a 1,200 sq m (12,917 sq ft) extension at Stillorgan Shopping Centre to accommodate a larger Tesco along with a new restaurant.

But there are also lots of other retail centres in the affluent DLR county area, most notably Nutgrove with its shopping centre and retail park between Churchtown and Rathfarnham villages. Cornelscourt with its extensive Dunnes Stores centre is also ranked by the council as a district retail centre.

In addition, there is lots of retail space located in neighbourhood shopping centres including Ballybrack, Ballinteer and Beacon South Quarter in Sandyford Business District. Many more shops and supermarkets are clustered around villages, crossroads and churches such as those at Dalkey, Deansgrange, Glasthule, Monkstown and Glenageary/Sallynoggin, and close to The Park is the Gallops on Ballyogan Road and Stepaside Village.

In the village of Shankill, German discount retailer Lidl is currently putting the finishing touches to a redevelopment of an old neighbourhood centre which was closed for decades.

In contrast to all of this retail development activity, those retailers who are located closest to DLR CoCo's offices in Dun Laoghaire Borough find that they have already lost business to Dundrum. With its narrow streets and distance from the motorway, the Borough is not considered as car friendly by family shoppers. Restaurateurs have opted for nearby villages such as Monkstown, Glasthule and Dalkey.

The only politician to formally object to Iput's plans for The Park is Olivia Buckley (no relation) who described Iput's retail proposal as "outrageously large" and she raised concerns about the impact it could have for existing retailers, shop workers and those dependent on Dundrum, Stillorgan and Dun Laoghaire.

Although The Park is not in her council area, the Fianna Fail candidate for Dundrum describes the Carrickmines plans as having potential to become one of the largest retail destinations in Ireland.

"Traffic impact too will be huge, clogging up the local and national road network.

"The proposal is contrary to planning policy as the county development plan only provides for a neighbourhood centre there which is day-to-day things like a shop, post office, laundry/dry cleaners, coffee shop, hairdressers etc," Ms Buckley says.

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