Dublin's Ilac Centre's €1.5m revamp to be complete by this summer

Independent.ie Business Desk

The joint owners of Dublin's Ilac Centre have begun the redevelopment of the Centre's Moore Mall South.

Hammerson and Irish Life have started the works - which will see the creation of five new units - at the well known shopping centre.

The centre is adjacent to Henry Street, Ireland’s busiest shopping street and is home to 85 retail and catering units, including H&M, River Island, and Argos. New brands introduced to the centre in recent months include Tiger, Paese Cosmetics and Chopped.

The development, expected to be completed by this summer, involves an investment of some €1.5m - and forms part of a wider plan by the Ilac's owners to improve the centre's tenant mix.

The Ilac Centre currently comprises 291,808 sq ft of retail accommodation and in the 12 months to December 31 last year had footfall of 17.8 million people.

Agreements have already been exchanged for four of the five new units and these will see BB's Coffee & Muffins, book retailer The Works, So Nutrition, and specialist catering equipment retailer, Nisbets join the Ilac Centre's present compliment of 85 retail and food units.

Hammerson acquired 50pc stakes in Dundrum, the Ilac, and the Pavilions after paying Nama €1.85bn for €2.6bn worth of loans connected to the developments.

Hammerson and German insurer Allianz acquired the so-called 'Project Jewel' loans from Nama, with all of the loans associated with developer Joe O'Reilly and his firm, Chartered Land.

Irish Life owns the other 50pc of the Ilac. It also owns 25pc of the Pavilions, with IPUT owning another 25pc.

Hammerson also secured sole ownership of a prime Dublin city centre development area, and development land beside the Pavilions.

Simon Betty, Hammerson’s Director of Retail, Ireland, commented: “Investing in the retail experience and improving the tenant mix at the Ilac Centre will be a major priority over the course of 2017, and we look forward to working with Irish Life to achieve this. The centre is well located in the centre of Dublin, benefitting from high footfall and sales, and through this refurbishment and other asset management initiatives we will ensure that the centre continues to offer our customers the right mix of retail and food & beverage.”

Deirdre Hayes, Head of Property Asset Management at Irish Life, added: “The start of the Moore Mall South refurbishment underpins Irish Life’s commitment to retail in Dublin city centre and marks an important milestone for the Ilac Centre by enhancing the quality and mix of retail and leisure for the city’s considerable catchment area.  We look forward to working with Hammerson on this and future projects.”