Danish lifestyle and homewares company Sostrene Grene latest arrival on Cork’s Patrick St

The arrival in coming weeks on Cork city’s Patrick Street of Danish lifestyle and homewares company Søstrene Grene is a harbinger of a retail uplift to come, as deals also advance with at least two ‘big-box’ retailers for the Capitol Cinema redevelopment.

Taking over the long-vacant former Mothercare premises at 74/75, the Danish company is moving on to the western end of Patrick Street, opposite JCD’s rapidly-delivered Capitol shops and offices development, which holds the promise of a transformative presence at this end of the main shopping thoroughfare in 2017.

The €50m development of the assembled Capitol site on Patrick Street — and especially Grand Parade — is advancing, and internal fit-out is expected by as-yet unconfirmed new tenants early in 2017.

According to market sources, among those who’ve shown a keen interest are Zara and Avoca as well as sports shops, with names expected to be confirmed within the next two months.

Meanwhile, Champion Sports is set to expand is presence at the Savoy Centre, also on Patrick Street.

Penneys’ planning application for a major redevelopment is long-anticipated and is already causing several relocations from buildings it has acquired.

Also on Patrick Street, Merchants Quay is to redevelop its shopping mall units to accommodate larger units after a grant of planning permission for internal and external changes onto Patrick Street.

An investment sale offer of the two-storey Merchants Quay Centre by its pension funds owners is expected in the next several months: the planned sale excludes the big units occupied by SuperValu, M&S, Dunnes etc.

Meanwhile, first on site amid the range of changes as the retail sector recovers confidence is the Danish chain Søstrene Grene (it translates as ‘the Grene sisters’ after its founders, Anna and Clara Grene) on Patrick Street. The company has just started a fit-out at 74/75, and is due to open in late September in a deal negotiated by Savills Cork for the landlords, and by CBRE Dublin for the retailer.

The Danish company was established in 1973 and has 110 stores in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, France, Spain, Germany, the UK, and Ireland since 2015.

Its three existing Irish stores are in Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Dun Laoghaire, and Athlone, which are now being joined by Cork.

A fifth Irish store is expected to be confirmed by year’s end.

The Scandi company sells home accessories and home and hobby items, as well as kitchenware and other non-food products, with rapid turnaround of ranges, as well as some core stock.

Mikkel Grene, CEO and Søstrene Grene co-owner said they only arrived in Dublin in December 2015 and “we’ve felt most welcome.

Our Irish customers have welcomed our concept wholeheartedly, and this only makes us even more excited about the future for Søstrene Grene in Ireland.”

The four-storey property vacated by Mothercare several years ago has 8,200 sq ft (770 sq m) in all, with 2,300 sq ft at ground level, and is located directly opposite the new Capitol retail / office scheme.

Agents for the landlords were Leigh Hegarty & Peter O’Meara of Savills Cork, who declined to comment on the rent and new lease terms.

Also believed to be close to a sale nearby is no 67, Patrick Street, a former AIB bank branch which was vacated a decade ago, and which was put to market in 2006 with a price hope of €6 million, when retail yields had fallen to sub-4% levels.

DETAILS: Savills 021-4271371


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