Wednesday 25 April 2018

Ireland's oldest shopping centre to get facelift

Stillorgan shopping centre
Stillorgan shopping centre
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Property giant Kennedy Wilson has been given the go-ahead for a major refurbishment of the State's oldest shopping centre, situated in Stillorgan on Dublin's southside.

Kennedy Wilson's London-listed investment vehicle secured approval for the revamp of the shopping centre from Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown council.

Under the plan, the Stillorgan shopping centre will also get a roof - almost 50 years after it was built.

In its planning application, Kennedy Wilson said it wants to retain "the local community atmosphere that differentiates it from other centres".

Tenants at the mall include Tesco, Donnybrook Fair, Dealz, McDonald's, and Dunnes Stores. There are a total of 50 retailers at the centre, which opened in 1966.

It has become one of the biggest shopping areas in south Dublin, as towns such as Dun Laoghaire went into decline due to poor parking facilities.

Kennedy Wilson chief operating officer Peter Collins said in June that the centre has "had no major upgrades in its history".

Both Tesco and Dunnes Stores made observations on the planning application.

Tesco's consultants told the council that there is already "severe congestion" at the shopping centre at peak times, and asked that the council ensure that the number of car parking spaces not be reduced.

Dunnes Stores said that the refurbishment will cater for future first-floor expansion at the centre. The retailer urged that any proposal to expand the centre should be lodged within a single planning application "and all impacts given due consideration". It also called for signage to be improved.

The refurbishment will include the installation of a new glazed canopy to protect shoppers from the elements.

Several attempts by former owners Treasury Holdings to revamp the centre floundered during the last decade because of concerns about traffic.

Those plans were approved by the council but then appealed by An Taisce to Bord Pleanála and rejected. In 2005, officials gave the go-ahead for an €85m, 12-storey apartment and restaurant complex near the shopping centre.

Irish Independent

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