The Avoca chain of luxury retail outlets and cafes is to open a food hall at a new business, leisure and residential centre to be unveiled shortly by the Comer Group in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
Restaurateur Dylan McGrath has also agreed rental terms for a new restaurant in the same development, known as One Ballsbridge.
The two dining facilities and others in the pipeline will be located on the ground floor of three seven- and eight-storey glazed blocks, which will also accommodate high-quality offices, a range of high-end stores, a leisure centre, 88 apartments and 225 car parking spaces.
A new streetscape will link Pembroke and Shelbourne roads, where 2,116sq m (22,776sq ft) of retail space will help create a distinctive new dining and shopping precinct.
Avoca has agreed a rent in the region of €250,000 per annum for a 743sq m (8,000sq ft) food hall, which is expected to open next March. The outlet will be the second retail business to be launched by Avoca – the other was in Dunboyne last April – since the Pratt family sold the Avoca business to the US catering group Aramark for a figure reported to be €64 million.
Two of the additional nine retail units in the Ballsbridge scheme have already been let and there is much interest in the remaining units, according to Louise Donnelly of Cushman & Wakefield. These are aimed at the top-end of the retail market and could end up as fashion boutiques, jewellers, hair and beauty salons or further food outlets. “My job,” she said, “ is to get the right mix for an exceptional D4 location.”
Dylan McGrath is already committed to opening a 418sq m (4,500sq ft) restaurant in a different building to the one earmarked for Avoca at a rent in excess of €538/sq m (€50/sq ft). He is currently operating two restaurants in the south inner city: Fade Street Social on Fade Street, and Rustic Stone on South Great George’s Street.
The Comer development is located on a 2.02-acre former Veterinary College site originally bought during the property boom by developer Ray Grehan for an incredible €171.5 million. After the property crash, the Comers bought it for €22.5 million – a discount of 87 per cent.
The Comer scheme is expected to interlink with the adjoining 6.8-acre Ballsbridge site where Joe O’Reilly’s Chartered Land is building the early phases of an apartment scheme that will be among the most expensive in the Dublin market.