Smyths Toys to open major distribution centre in Dundalk

New 401,375sq ft warehouse and parking for 50 HGVs nearing completion on 27-acre site at Dundalk North Business Park

When an unnamed party paid €8.9 million – more than €330,000 an acre – to secure ownership of a 27-acre holding at Dundalk North Business Park from the McWilliams Group in July last year, speculation swirled in relation to the purchaser’s identity and their intentions for the site.

The rumour mill picked up pace soon after when the mystery buyer engaged Urban Green Private, the real-estate investment firm headed by Cork businessman Tom Coughlan, to submit a planning application on its behalf to Louth County Council for the development on the site of a single warehouse of 37,289sq m (401,375sq ft) along with parking for 50 heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

But while Urban Green Private and Dundalk North Business Park’s joint agents CBRE and Property Partners Laurence Gunne have remained tight-lipped on the matter of the warehouse’s ownership and end user, The Irish Times has learned that the property, which is now nearing completion, is being developed for the Irish-headquartered international retail giant Smyths Toys.

The business was established in the late 1980s as a Galway offshoot of the Smyth family’s original newsagents, tobacconists and toy shop on Main Street in Claremorris, and has since then become one of Ireland, the UK and Europe’s most successful retailers with a total of 231 outlets across the three regions and estimated revenues of more than €1.6 billion in 2021. The group continues to be led from Mayo by the Smyth family, with Anthony Smyth and Patrick Smyth sitting on the board. They had been joined there up until recently by Liam Smyth, who died in July, while Thomas Smyth resigned as a director on November 1st, 2021.


Smyths Toys’ new Dundalk warehouse is one of the largest logistics units to have been developed in Ireland over recent years. To put the size of the unit in perspective, Amazon’s recently opened e-fulfilment centre at Baldonnell Business Park in Dublin is, at 654,000sq ft, the largest single “build-to-suit” pre-let warehouse ever constructed in the State.

The news of Smyths Toys’ arrival at Dundalk Business Park represents a significant coup for the scheme’s promoters, the McWilliams Group, coming as it does almost at the same time as the decision from Louth County Council to grant permission for the development of a further 71,634sq m (771,062sq ft) of industrial and logistics space distributed across 14 units.

The approved units will range in size from 1,909sq m (20,548sq ft) to 9,972sq m (107,338sq ft) and can be combined to cater for requirements of up to 23,226sq m (250,000sq ft). The specification of completed units will be targeting LEED Gold accreditation and will comprise of sealed concrete floors, LED lighting, PV panels, air-source heat-pump systems, dock levellers, service yards extending up to 45m and warehouse clear internal heights of 14m throughout.

All sites are fully serviced with all necessary individual connections provided to each site. This includes foul drainage, surface water drainage, water, electricity, telecoms and broadband. There is an ESB substation on site, with underground ducting and cables in place throughout the entire site. A new entrance, turning lanes, alignment and the regrading of the Armagh Road have recently been completed. The park is within five minutes of junction 18 on the M1 motorway and has a dedicated entrance directly off the Armagh Road. The scheme is 2km from Dundalk town centre, and Dublin and Belfast are just 50 minutes away by motorway.

Further information on Dundalk Business Park is available from Stephen Mellon in CBRE or PJ Roddy in Property Partners Laurence Gunne.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times