450 new jobs in €26m shopping centre expansion
A multi-million euro extension - which will create 450 new jobs - is planned for one of the country's best-known shopping centres.
And experts say the €26m investment project, seen as a major vote of confidence in the country's retail trade, is as a result of a "significant upturn" in consumer sentiment.
The project - which will include a new Penneys store, six new restaurants and a major upgrade of the existing cinema - is expected to transform Dublin's Liffey Valley Shopping Centre. The creation of 450 new full and part-time jobs will bring the total number working in the centre to over 2,500.
In addition, an estimated 225 people will be employed in the extensive construction programme needed for the new facilities.
"The retail element of the plan is largely Penneys. There will be new family restaurants and the contracts are in the process of being finalised," a spokesman told the Irish Independent.
"It's off the back of the success of the centre and the growing consumer confidence which exists in the wider economy and Ireland's recovery. The centre has full occupancy at the moment, so it's very much built on that."
The existing floor area will increase by over 16pc, and will include the provision of a civic space area to make the shopping experience more user-friendly.
Planning permission for the development was granted in 2013 and will also include the construction of a new 'Western End facade'.
The cinema upgrade will be completed this autumn, and the new Penneys is due to open in late 2016. Brian Moran, senior managing director of Hines Ireland, which is involved in the project, said the expansion will be a key element of local economic development in west Dublin.