Bray Town Council buys Ballymore site for €1.95m

Site of proposed Florentine Shopping Centre vacant for 10 years

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.”