Saturday 19 July 2008

Councils approve €2bn Bray project

BRAY HAS moved a stage further towards securing a new €2 billion town centre which will include more than 100 shops as well as offices, a hotel, leisure facilities and a residential complex.

However, the decision by Bray Town Council and Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown County Council to grant permission for the vast scheme will almost certainly be appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Last year the board blocked the same development on the old Bray golf course lands because it said it would be "premature" pending the approval of the Bray Flood Defence Scheme and pending a plan for the overall management of traffic in Bray. Meanwhile, Seán Mulryan's Ballymore Properties is expected to tell Bray Town Council on Tuesday next whether it will be proceeding with the rival Florentine Centre in Bray.

The scheme has been held up by delays linked to the implementation of a Compulsory Purchase Order on the site by the town council.

Pizarro, the company promoting the larger centre, is comprised of Paddy Kelly and the Kelly family, the McCormack family vehicle Alanis, Durkan New Homes, Newlyn Group and Pierse Construction.

They bought the site in 2003 from Dwyer Nolan for €90 million.

Last October Pizarro lodged a revised planning application which included new road network and access to an underground car park which will have 3,300 spaces.

The scheme will include 58,243 sq m (626,927sq ft) of shopping facilities, a 103-bedroom hotel, 17 bars, restaurants and cafes, an eight-screen cinema and 326 apartments.

The development will provide a link between the original town centre and the seafront, while the town's river Dargle will be enhanced with a riverside walk and flood protection facilities.

Pizarro claims its development will bring in more than €60 million in wages annually and employ more than 2,500 people.

Meanwhile, Ballymore has just completed an important office letting to high street bank Barclays in Birmingham.

The bank has taken a 15-year lease of 9,104sq m (98,000sq ft) in the first phase of the one million square feet mixed-use scheme at Snow Hill.

Ballymore has already secured the city's largest pre-let at the scheme, signing Wragge & Co for No 2 Snow Hill. The Irish company has now let a total of 43,663sq m (470,000sq ft) of offices to Wragge, Barclays and KPMG.

The Irish Times

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