The Douglas space has been vacant since the centre’s €80m redevelopment in 2008, when Tesco moved from 25,000 sq ft to 90,000 sq ft. Negotiations with TK Maxx are understood to be taking place with the centre’s owners, the Shipton Group, who also recently secured a gym operator for an upper-floor space in the multi-level development.
TK Maxx have 1,000 stores worldwide, with 300-plus in Europe and 20 in Ireland. There is one in Cork City centre, above Lidl’s basement store on Cornmarket Street.
Shipton’s two other major Cork centres, Douglas Court and Blackpool Shopping Centre, were each sold in 2014, as part of separate portfolio offers: the €160m Project Spectrum, and the €170m Project Acorn, respectively.
Value on the Wilton Shopping Centre is likely to be in excess of €75m, say sources, who expect it to be bundled with several other retail offers, by spring, via Nama. Nama is also expected to offer several Dublin retail centres to international and national investors, including the country’s largest complex, Dundrum Town Centre, worth close on €1bn, as well as stakes in the Pavillions Shopping Centre, Swords, and the Ilac Centre.
Meanwhile, international shoe-sellers, Skechers, have found an extra 2,800 sq ft in Cork City centre.
The US footwear retailer, whose ‘footprint’ extends to 900 outlets in up to 120 countries, is moving into Opera Lane, adding to existing stores in Wilton and Mahon Point.
It is taking over the unit occupied by CC Viyella, which is leaving Cork and has exercised its break option.
It’s the first departure from Opera Lane (Kuyichi changed profile on Emmet Place), and Sketchers is the replacement, says Leigh Hegarty, retail specialist in Savills, Cork.
Sketchers will get 1,800 sq ft retail at ground, with about 1,000 sq ft at mezzanine level, and are understood to be paying a rent of close to €200,0000 per year. Skechers’ (trading under Shuz 4 U) Irish HQ is in Little Island, Cork, and they are due to open at Unit 8 Opera Lane in early spring, selling men’s, women’s and children’s footwear and sports shoes.
“Skechers is an exciting addition to the strong fashion line-up at Opera Lane, which is one of the leading fashion retail destinations in the country,” said Ms Hegarty.
The only space now left at Opera Lane is circa 12-13,000 sq ft at lower ground level, between/beneath Next & H&M, suitable for a large space or home-goods occupier, with lobby access at street level, in a space currently occupied by a radio station. Rent level is circa €18 psf.