New shopping centre for Ballymun after 15 year wait

City councillors to vote on €1.8m offer for site for construction of new centre

The old Ballymun Town Centre which is to be demolished. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The old Ballymun Town Centre which is to be demolished. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Ballymun is finally to get a new shopping centre, 15 years after a shopping complex was planned for the north Dublin suburb.

City councillors will today vote on a €1.8 million offer from development company Alanis Capital for a site on Ballymun Main Street for the construction of the new centre.

The site is immediately adjacent to Ballymun Town Centre, the dilapidated 50-year-old shopping centre, which is being detenanted ahead of its planned demolition.

Plans for a new shopping centre were central to the regeneration of Ballymun. In 2000 Treasury Holdings paid more than £6 million for a 53 per cent stake in old centre, which was to be razed and redeveloped as the main shopping facility for the suburb’s 18,000 residents.

It was not until 2009 that the company secured planning permission for Springcross a vast €800 million development, which was to include an 11-screen cinema, bowling alley, public library, creche and restaurants, as well as shops, offices .

Treasury had intended to begin construction the following year but the economic crash intervened and the town centre lands became part of Nama’s portfolio of loans before any development began. Most retailers in the centre subsequently shut up shop and early last year it lost its anchor tenant, Tesco.

Last May the council, which already owned 47 per cent of the old shopping centre, reached agreement with Nama and its receivers to acquire the remaining 53 per cent.

The development of the Alanis centre will go ahead independently of the old complex initially, but is likely to become part of a larger retail development once the old centre is demolished.

Local councillors Paul McAuliffe (FF), Noel Rock (FG) and Noeleen Reilly (SF) have all signalled they will vote in favour of the proposal, but are likely to seek amendments to include a residential element and guarantee local employment.