€500m development gets the green light

A BONANZA is a prospect for Cork shoppers with the approval of a €500 million project in Mahon and the planned sale and redevelopment of another shopping centre.

Developer Owen O’Callaghan, the man behind Liffey Valley shopping centre in Dublin, Arthur’s Quay in Limerick, Golden Island at Athlone and several Cork centres, yesterday got Bord Pleanála approval for a mixed scheme at Mahon Point, Cork.

Mr O’Callaghan’s plan for offices, a business park, cineplex, national trade centre and hotel, plus a 220,000sqft shopping centre and retail park, is valued at 450m.

The development of 430 houses with McCarthy Developments adds 100m to the overall project value.

The scheme is due to go on-site in October and will provide up to 2,000 construction jobs and 6,000 full and part-time jobs once completed.

Cork City Council sold the 111-acre site for 52m.

City manager Joe Gavin welcomed the planning permission news as “a major boost for Cork”.

The city was undershopped, Mr Gavin said, and could take several other large department store-type projects.

Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Wilton Shopping Centre in Cork, is to be sold with full planning permission for redevelopment.

It has nine acres of adjoining land with plans for a 60,000sqft supermarket and 12 shop units.

The centre is owned by pension fund IPFPUT.

Likely buyers include developers or one of the two anchor tenants, Tesco and Roches Stores.

It is on the market with Palmer McCormack, who declined to give a guide price.

Market values suggest a sale close to 70m could be achieved.

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