A €100m retail centre, similar to Kildare Village, is being proposed for the eastern outskirts of Cork city.
The tourist outlet village (TOV) proposed by British-based Rioja Estates close to the IDA industrial estate at Killacloyne in Carrigtwohill, will create more than 850 permanent jobs and a further 640 during construction.
The developers are hoping it could open by 2024.
A TOV is a specialist form of retail and tourist destination, drawing visitors from a two-hour drive radius.
TOVs sell discounted products not normally found on the high street — for example end-of-line, seconds and out-of-season goods.
Rioja Estates, which describes itself as ‘the largest independent outlet promoter and developer in Europe’, has in the past 25 years created more than 4m sq ft of TOV floorspace at 13 outlets across Britain.
The company believes the Cork TOV would draw 220,000 additional tourists to the region annually.
It carried out “extensive research over the last four years” which showed there was room for another TOV in Ireland.
Carrigtwohill was seen as the optimum site, as it was served by a very good road network, had a rail link, and was very close to tourist attractions such as Spike Island, Fota Wildlife Park, Fota House, the Titanic Experience, the Queenstown Story, Cobh’s cruise liner terminal, and Jameson Distillery.
The County Development Plan (CDP) would need to be amended to accommodate such a centre.
The company hasmade a detailed submission to Cork County Council on the project and a report will be given to councillors on it by the end of next month.
It’s expected councillors will then vote on the recommendations of their management by the end of January.
Subject to their approval, the company said it will lodge a planning applicationin mid-2020 and will engage with the local community and businesses in the interim.
The retail park is expected to take 24 months to build and Rioja Estates hopes to open the retail centre by March 2024.