Cork's Marina Market owners in talks to buy historic Douglas Village shopping centre

One of Ireland's longest-established shopping centres bounced back after a devastating fire and is now expected to be sold for around €23m
Cork's Marina Market owners in talks to buy historic Douglas Village shopping centre

Douglas Village Shopping Centre was put up for sale earlier this year. File picture 

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. 

The Irish Examiner understands 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.

Agnieszka Broda, Suzan Duru, David French, Dermot Hever, Marjorie O'Donovan and Triona Griffin celebrating the reopening of the Douglas Village Shopping Centre Tesco store in 2020 after it had been shut for 15 months after the devastating 2019 fire.  File picture
Agnieszka Broda, Suzan Duru, David French, Dermot Hever, Marjorie O'Donovan and Triona Griffin celebrating the reopening of the Douglas Village Shopping Centre Tesco store in 2020 after it had been shut for 15 months after the devastating 2019 fire.  File picture

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.

The official opening of Douglas Village Shopping Centre in 1971. Irish Examiner Archive
The official opening of Douglas Village Shopping Centre in 1971. Irish Examiner Archive

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.

The food court at Marina Market on Centre Park Rd in Cork. Picture: Larry Cummins
The food court at Marina Market on Centre Park Rd in Cork. Picture: Larry Cummins

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.

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