Wednesday 16 October 2019

First tenants secured for Bray Town Centre

Five-screen upmarket cinema and 'elephant and castle' to open

The five-screen cinema is expected to be similar to the Stella cinema in Rathmines
The five-screen cinema is expected to be similar to the Stella cinema in Rathmines
An updated artist’s impression of Bray Town Centre (formerly known as the Florentine Centre)

Mary Fogarty

Developers Oakmount have revealed that one anchor tenant has reserved a section of the shopping centre under construction in the centre of Bray.

They have also confirmed that a five-screen 'Stella' type cinema and an Elephant and Castle restaurant will be included in the plans.

The cinema is expected to be similar to the Stella in Rathmines, which is in a vintage style and includes a bar and restaurant.

While there had been hopes that the centre would be open by December 2019, in a statement released by Oakmount last week they said that the development is expected to open in the spring of 2020.

As well as one reserved anchor tenant, there is space for a further two anchor tenants, nine individual retail units, restaurant and café space and 250 parking spaces.

The plans also include a new urban street accessed from the Main Street, and a central plaza with pedestrian access from Quinsboro Road.

The cinema, Elephant and Castle and a leisure box, possibly composed of virtual golf, will be operated by Paddy McKillen Jnr's Press Up Group.

The 2.4 acre main street site, previously known as the 'Florentine Centre', has been the subject of a number of retail-led development proposals since 1996. In November 2016, Wicklow County Council - owners of the site - sought a development partner and appointed Oakmount.

'The development of the Bray Town Centre will transform the retail and evening economy of Bray, where the Main Street has been poorly provided for due to a lack of restaurants, larger retail units and leisure offerings,' said Darragh Cronin from Savills.

'The existing modern design that compliments the town's historic evolution will bring modern retailing and entertainment to this successful town.'

The development has come under scrutiny at Bray Municipal District in recent months, due to some changes requested by the developer as well as the collapse of plans to include pedestrian access to Florence Road from the centre. This was due to the lack of permission of a landowner and caused bitter disappointment among traders on Florence Road.

Adjustments requested have included underground parking, a reduction in cinema seats, and the overall height of the building.

Former developers of the 'Florentine Centre' Ballymore abandoned the project in 2010 with the economic collapse. Ballymore had already adjusted their plans two years prior to that. The project has been in the planning since 1996.

Bray People