An extension to the The Quays shopping centre in Newry in Northern Ireland has been recommended for planning approval by the government, it was confirmed this week.
If final approval is granted the mall will be extended by around 150,000 sq ft in terms of retail space and will also have a new 600 space multi-storey car park created at the site.
Costing £35 million, the development will be built by the side of the existing centre, linked by a glass-covered bridge, and will give a much needed boost to the local construction industry.
The centre is owned by Parker Green International, a real estate firm run by Dr Gerald O’Hare, who has admitted that completing the construction in current market conditions will be difficult but achievable.
“I am delighted that the application is to be recommended for approval by the Department. This will allow The Quays to offer a further new and exciting phase to its customers,” O’Hare said.
“In the present market conditions it is not easy to plan new projects but we believe that good sound development is more important than ever now.
“It offers opportunity to create much needed jobs in construction and retail and this project demonstrates that both The Quays and Newry remain at the premiership level of retail demand.”
O’Hare says that the development is being led by a “certainty of demand” and that half of the space at the site has all ready been reserved by interested retailers.
Construction should commence in the latter half of 2012 and be complete by late 2013 if planning approval is granted, creating 200 construction jobs and 300 full and part-time position in retail and associated jobs.
“This development has much wider implications as it secures the vitality of a city centre,” O’Hare added.
“It offers sustainability to existing retailers with the introduction of a wider critical mass and it offers hope for many in wider society- that there is a light at the end of the current, dark economic tunnel.”