Tesco plans to build £20 million shopping centre at Malahide Road


Dublin is to get another shopping centre, a £20 million complex at Airfield, on the Malahide Road, in Dublin 17. Supermarket giant Tesco is to lodge a planning application later this week for the centre, which will be strategically located about a mile off the end M50 ring-road in north-east Dublin.

The planning application for Clare Hall Shopping Centre replaces a previous one for a stand-alone store on the site and takes into account changes in planning and consumer needs. The centre is expected to create about 350 new jobs when it begins trading within two years.

The 107,000 ft complex will include a supermarket with cafe, in-store bakery and off-licence. A separate department store will have a wide range of clothing, and household goods, as well as gardening equipment.

There will be six other shops with a combined floor area of 9,000 sq ft, all of which will be occupied by independent traders. The uses are likely to include a restaurant, pharmacy, travel agent, sports outlet and video store. One unit is to be made available at a reduced rent to the local community.

Tesco is understood to have paid around £12 million for the 10-acre site at Malahide Road. It was bought more than two years ago from the businessman Albert Gubay, who operates a leisure and fitness centre on an adjoining site.

The land was zoned for mixed services facilities in the 1999 Dublin City Development Plan. There is an existing planning permission for a shopping centre of 112,000 sq ft on the site, which runs out in 2001. The new planning application is for a somewhat smaller development, similar in scale to many other district shopping centres. There will be 680 surface car-parking spaces, more than enough to meet peak-time demands for both the shopping centre and the adjoining fitness complex.

The Clare Hall centre will be located in an area with a fast-growing population. Hundreds of new houses have been completed in the immediate area in recent years and a further 2,300 homes are currently in the pipeline. There are also plans for several commercial parks including the 120-acre Fingal Business and Manufacturing Park.

Clare Hall will be the first new shopping centre to be developed by Tesco since it took over the Quinnsworth chain of supermarkets.

Tesco Ireland has already invested over £87 million on upgrading and refurbishing 46 of the 75 supermarkets in its portfolio. About £35 million of the expenditure has gone on Dublin supermarkets. It is planned to spend another £80 million to £100 million on completing the programme.

Last week, Tesco bought a site for a supermarket at Market Square, Castlebar, Co Mayo. There is already a planning permission for a 29,000 sq ft outlet. The new supermarket is due to open before Christmas.