Major Bray shopping and cinema complex to go ahead

Long-awaited Florentine €30-€35m centre set to be completed by end of 2017

Computer-generated image of the Florentine shopping and cinema complex planned for the centre of Bray, Co Wicklow.

Computer-generated image of the Florentine shopping and cinema complex planned for the centre of Bray, Co Wicklow.

 

The long-postponed Florentine shopping and cinema complex planned for the centre of Bray, Co Wicklow, finally looks like proceeding following a decision by Wicklow County Council to seek a development partner for the high-profile project which is expected to have a gross development value of €30-€35 million.

Larry Brennan of Savills has been engaged by the council to oversee the appointment of a development partner and contractor by next March with a view to completing the 23,225sq m (250,000sq ft) project before the end of next year.

The 2.4 acre main street site has been the subject of a number of retail-led development proposals since 1996. After recently acquiring the site, Wicklow County Council sought the approval of An Bord Pleanála for a scaled down retail development to include anchor stores, retail units, restaurants, offices, a multiplex cinema and car parking facilities.

The plans also include the development of a new urban street accessed from Bray’s main street and a central plaza with pedestrian access from Quinsborough Road. A decision on the planning application is due from An Bord Pleanála before year end.

Transformation

Mr Brennan said the development of the Florentine Centre would transform the retail and evening economy of Bray where the main street in particular had been poorly provided for due to a lack of restaurants, larger retail units and leisure offerings. “The recovering retail economy is now supporting real occupier demand which can offer favourable returns to the appropriate development partner.”

With a population of over 30,000, Bray is the main commercial town serving north Wicklow. It is well serviced by both the national road network, via the M11 and the M50, and public transport, via the DART, national rail services and Dublin Bus. The town has a strong tourist and heritage base and is the gateway to the Wicklow Mountains and the south-west