COMPETITION between property developers and grocery retailers looks set to intensify in Stilliorgan Village, in Co Dublin. Treasury Holdings is seeking to entice discount retailer Aldi to its Blakes restaurant/nite club site on the south-eastern corner of the village, while on the south western corner Panther Catering is seeking permission to develop a 980sqm retail unit in a major revamp of the Millhouse pub site.
As well as demolishing the pub, it would also include a 265sqm cafe/bar at ground and first floor levels, a 494sqm crèche, and a basement car park. Panther, whose directors are Frank Ryan and Denis Carey, previously sought to develop 78 apartments on the site.
Treasury already has planning permission for a 1,208sqm foodstore on the Blakes site which overlooks the N11 dual carriageway and has confirmed that it is in advanced discussions with an occupier. It is quoting rent of €500,000 a year for the property.
The arrival of Aldi would intensify the grocery and food offering in the village as it would follow on the recent arrival of Lidl to the former furniture store owned by the Durkan New Homes group, which is next to the AIB and also the earlier arrival of Donnybrook Fair into the shopping centre itself.
Treasury has announced that An Post and Vodafone have taken new stores at the shopping centre. However, the developer acknowledges that both are not new tenants but are relocating within the centre. An Post's latest move will facilitate the letting of a 743sqm unit to Dealz.
Treasury had been quoting rents of €753 to €1,076 per sqm for space at the centre and report that it is now 95pc let.
Dove Dry Cleaners are also to open a new store there bringing to 21 the number of deals done in the last 12 months. The 51sqm store is Dove's first store in Dublin, with other stores based in Naas, Newbridge, Maynooth and Newcastle.
Stillorgan Shopping Centre is in the CMBS portfolio and the loan is not administered by NAMA. The centre forms part of a portfolio financed through a €375m facility arranged through Eurohypo in London. The bonds for this portfolio mature in eight months' time and Treasury has begun talks with lenders on extending the maturity profile of the notes.
Niall Kavanagh, director of property at Treasury, said the Stillorgan centre is now virtually fully occupied with only one 93sqm unit available.
"We are actually looking to create additional space to meet demand.
"In order to facilitate the Dealz unit we have to deliver a new 8,000 sq ft retail shop in the centre and as there is still considerable demand from retailers we now intend to lodge a planning application for an additional 5,000 sq ft of prominent ground floor space with a 4,000 sq ft restaurant opportunity above.
"All the fundamentals which have attracted the loyal customer base to Stillorgan over the years are still in place, but the new retail stores mean that footfall in the centre has increased by 4pc since Christmas.
"With the retail sector suffering more than most it's encouraging to see this kind of positive response to the various initiatives," he said.