The UPWARDS of 5 contenders are vying to purchase the previous Debenhams flagship retailer in Cork metropolis centre, with the popular bidder due for choice forward of the weekend.

Whether or not the curiosity is from the proprietor/occupiers or builders is unclear, however names advised in relation to a shortlist of bidders embody Fraser Group, which purchased the complete Road Eason complicated in 2019, and Irish Life, who personal a number of properties. on St. Patrick’s Road.

Debenhams has been mendacity idle since April 2020 Picture by Dennis Minihane.

Different potential events embody native builders with a monitor file in Cork Metropolis, equivalent to John Cleary Developments (JCD, behind the redevelopment of The Capital Cinema), O’Callaghan Properties (OCP, builders of Retailers Quay) and O’Flynn. Group, who’ve labored with fast-fashion retailer Pennies to consolidate possession of a complete block on Essential Road.

Clarendon Properties, which owns the close by Service provider Quay shopping center, may even see this as a pure growth alternative, though it’s understood they think about the €20m price ticket too excessive.

The Financial institution of Eire is to pick the popular bidder on Friday, together with receiver Grant Thornton, who employed property brokers Cushman & Wakefield to supervise the sale. The long-lasting 151,000 sq ft property, which was as soon as residence to Roches shops, was put available on the market in August with a information value of €20m.

The Empty Interior of Debenhams, St. Patrick's Street
The Empty Inside of Debenhams, St. Patrick’s Road

Cushman & Wakefield can be dealing with the sale of the previous Debenhams retailer on Henry Road in Dublin, for a information value of €50m.

Curiosity in each properties is deemed substantial and the bidding course of extremely aggressive.

If the Fraser Group materializes as the popular bidder, it is going to considerably improve their rising cork portfolio. Along with proudly owning a 22,000-square-foot former property at 113-115 St. Patrick Road, in addition they personal the previous Debenhams’ complicated at Mahone Level Purchasing Middle, the place they’ve stuffed the Higher Mall part with a Sports activities Direct retailer (Sports activities). Direct a part of the Fraser Group), with well-advanced plans to arrange a Home of Fraser retailer within the decrease mall. An upmarket Flannels style retailer (additionally a part of the Fraser Group) is deliberate for 113–115 St. Patrick’s Road, because of open by Easter subsequent yr.

A number of different retailers are additionally set to open quickly on St Patrick Road, together with outerwear specialist The North Face and UK footwear model Dune, whereas steps are being taken to fill long-vacant premises equivalent to Quills and Dorothy Perkins/Evans Huh. Nonetheless, Debenhams, on the 1.32-acre web site, is by far essentially the most high-profile emptiness on Essential Road, in a property that operated as a division retailer for bones of a century. It closed in April 2020 with the lack of tons of of jobs when Debenhams Eire went into liquidation.

Side of building along Mayor Street of former Debenhams store in Cork city center
Facet of constructing alongside Mayor Road of former Debenhams retailer in Cork metropolis heart

Recommendations for its future use embody retaining retail on the entrance of the constructing, and presumably an leisure and meals and beverage space upstairs, whereas utilizing the rear for housing. An idea proposal drawn up by an architect for a mixed-use scheme features a proposal for a 220-room lodge and 47 residential items alongside Meyler Road.

Picture Dennis Minihane.
Image Dennis Minihane.

There might also be choices for an authorized housing physique or scholar lodging operators to come back.

Rejuvenating the flagship constructing is seen as central to the revitalization of St Patrick’s Road which was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Empty Interior of Debenhams, St. Patrick's Street
The Empty Inside of Debenhams, St. Patrick’s Road

Cushman & Wakefield agent Peter O’Flynn has beforehand stated that the flagship retailer’s significance to town’s Essential Road “can’t be underestimated.” The reopening of the entrance part for retail will deliver double advantages to customers as it is going to re-establish the pedestrian hyperlink with Service provider Quay.

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