Bray Town Council has purchased the site of the proposed Florentine Shopping Centre in Bray which has been vacant for the last 10 years for just €1.95 million. The council bought the site from Grant Thornton, the receiver of Florentine Properties Ltd, a company formerly controlled by Sean Mulryan's Ballymore Properties. Accounts for this company show it had bank debts of €23 million.
Grant Thornton was appointed receiver to the company by Bank of Scotland (Ireland) on January 25th last. "This is a great day for the town," said Bray Town Council cathaoirleach Cllr Tracy O'Brien. "This project has been beset by problems from the start and the site has been regarded as a hole in the centre of the town for more than 10 years. "Hopefully the town can now move on and a sustainable development plan can be put in place to benefit all citizens."
The shopping centre was due to open in 2006 at a cost of €40 million but after being delayed by planning issues the credit crunch meant it was no longer financially viable.
Bray town manager Des O’Brien said: “Bray Town Council now hopes to work with any interested parties to develop the site into an amenity that has both social and economic benefits to the town.”