TWO major UK supermarket chains have ruled out the possibility of taking space in the unopened Naas Shopping Centre development in the centre of the town.
The multi million development is now part of NAMA’s portfolio of commercial properties.
Neither Sainsbury’s, which has a store in Newry, nor Asda have any plans to open a unit in the centre, despite some persistent local speculation.
John Parrott of Sainsbury’s told the Leader that the supermarket has no plans to open a store in Naas or anywhere else in Ireland. “There are no proposals to open in the Republic of Ireland, that I am aware of,” Mr. Parrott told the Leader.
“We’ve no current plans to enter the ROI,” Asda representative Clair Hufton told this newspaper.
Meanwhile Musgraves, which operates both the Super Valu and Superquinn shops, declined to say if it has any interest in the property.
“We still do not have any comment on the matter,” the company said in a brief statement yesterday (Monday).
Liam O’Farrell, a director of Marshalsea Property, the company which developed the centre, told the Leader that “there is some interest” in the centre by at least one retailer but he would not elaborate.
The centre was due to open prior to Christmas 2009 with Dunnes Stores as the anchor tenant on two floors. The centre plans has 45 retail units on two levels along with 800 car park spaces.
However, it’s understood that Dunnes was subsequently involved in litigation with Marshalsea.
Dunnes Stores have declined to respond to numerous requests for information about its intentions.
There has been no town centre supermarket in Naas – apart from Eurospar at Fairgreen – since the closure of Superquinn in February 2011.
This came about three months after the opening of one of the biggest Tesco stores in the country off Monread Road, Naas .
Since then Aldi have opened a second Naas store, also in Monread.