Wednesday 16 January 2008

Shopping centre part of major Celbridge redevelopment

A large extension to Celbridge town centre - to include a shopping centre, offices and some 756 residential units - is planned for a key 98-acre riverside site, writes Jack Fagan.

A planning application for a shopping centre as part of a major extension to Celbridge town centre is to be lodged shortly with Kildare Co Council.

The 98-acre development to be linked by three bridges over the River Liffey to main street in Celbridge is to be carried out by Devondale Ltd, a company controlled by Brian M Durkan and his father, Tony. It will have a development value of over €750 million.

Designed by Project Architects and O'Mahony Pike, the scheme will include a new town centre with a large public plaza, multiplex cinema, gym and cultural facilities, as well as banking and ancillary services. Several restaurants, cafés and bars will overlook the River Liffey and there will be two separate residential schemes.

The shopping centre will extend to 22,000sq m (236,808sq ft) and include two anchor stores which are likely to appeal to multiples such as Dunnes Stores and Marks & Spencer. Tesco is already trading from a new store at the opposite end of the town. These multiples are well aware that Celbridge is one of the most prosperous towns in the greater Dublin area due mainly to the large number of prestigious companies nearby including Intel and Hewlett Packard.

A study carried out on behalf of the developers of the new town centre has shown that expenditure per household is on a par with affluent areas such as Foxrock and Dundrum.

Eoin Feeney of agent HWBC is handling enquiries about the new shopping facilities.

The Durkan company bought the Donaghcumper lands three years ago for €78 million and recently handed over 31 acres to Kildare County Council for a public park which will be largely located along the Liffey.

The new town centre will include a total of 648 new homes varying from one, two and three-bedroom apartments to three and four-bedroom townhouses. The second residential quarter, located some distance away to the east of the site, will have 108 large four and five-bedroom detached family homes. Many of them will stand on individual sites of over a quarter of an acre with separate garages.

To broaden the appeal of the new centre, the developers are to provide 20,000sq m (215,278sq ft) of commercial space in an office and business campus. These will include own-door office facilities and live-work units to cater for start-up businesses.

Celbridge has been suffering from traffic congestion and a shortage of parking. These problems will be addressed in the new development where the main bridge over the river will link the Maynooth road with the old Dublin road, leading to Hazelhatch train station.

The two other bridges will be for pedestrian use. It is also planned to provide more than 1,700 car-parking spaces on the new site to facilitate both the old and the new town areas.

Donaghcumper House, which continues to be occupied, will be the subject of a future planning application.

The Irish Times

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