The owners of Cork’s popular Marina Market are in talks to buy the city’s Douglas Village Shopping Centre — the second oldest shopping centre in the country — for around €23m.
Theunderstands that property investment firm Urban Green Private (UGP) is one of a number of parties that have been involved in the sale negotiations and that a deal could be close.
Douglas Village Shopping Centre opened in 1971 soon after Dublin’s then-pioneering Stillorgan shopping centre — centres which changed the face of retail in Ireland.
The centre, which extends to about 22,000 sqm, with over 40 units on six prime acres in the heart of Douglas suburban village, is one of two in Douglas, both developed by Clayton Love Jnr, who also opened centres in Wilton and Blackpool.
It was first built with outdoor malls, then covered over and sold but later bought back by the Love family’s Shipton Group, which then set about a complete redevelopment in 2007, which included the addition of a multi-storey car park, and the construction of a new road alongside, linking the front and back village and the N40 South Link Road.
It is anchored by Tesco, M&S, and TK Maxx and has a rental income of €2.4m, with scope to boost that further by filling some units which have remained vacant since fire ripped through its car park in August 2019, causing damage estimated at €30m and forcing a 14-month closure. The centre reopened in late 2020.
UGP, founded by developer Tom Coughlan in 2013, has more than €150m of real estate assets under management nationwide, including the Marina Market food emporium which was established without planning in Cork’s south docklands during the pandemic.
An application from one of its subsidiaries, CPR Properties Cork Ltd, for permission for retention of the change of use from warehouse and distribution use to a market and food emporium, was rejected by city planners last month.
An appeal to An Bord Pleanála is expected. The market will continue to operate as that process unfolds.
More than 31,000 signatures have been gathered by a petition calling for the market to be retained.