A view of Naas Shopping Centre
A receiver has been assigned to the unopened Naas Shopping Centre in a move regarded as a lead-in to putting the premises up for sale.
The National Asset Management Agency has appointed top finance house Duff & Phelps as the receiver. It’s the latest development in the chequered history of the town centre development which was originally scheduled to open in December 2009.
Neither Duff & Phelps nor NAMA has yet made any comment on the appointment.
Duff & Phelps has an office in Dublin and describes itself as a global financial services firm with expertise in “complex valuation and corporate finance.” It was founded in Chicago in 1932 by William Duff and George Phelps.
The news will be welcomed by local residents and the business community who are anxious to see the centre open.
It is known that Kildare County Council was also in discussions up to recently with NAMA about ways to achieve an opening of the centre.
The centre was to have been anchored by Dunnes Stores but the supermarket giant pulled out, at least partly because of the onset of the economic crash.
At the time the developer Marshalsea, a local company controlled by Liam O’Farrell and members of the McDermott family, were hopeful that Dunnes Stores would take up to 75,000 square feet on two levels.
In an interview with the Leader in 2015, Owen McDermott of Marshalsea said the centre was built to Dunnes Stores’ specifications.
The centre occupies 172,000 square feet and was constructed to accommodate 45 retail units and 800 car park spaces (it was built on the site of the former Naas Town Council car park).
It is understood that the receiver has recently been in contact with some local businesses which have an interest in the NSC.
Among the many items to be resolved before any sale takes place will be the issue of the unofficial car park area, which is not open to the public. A number of people employed by businesses which gave space to the development park their cars in the centre and up to sixty vehicles are parked there most days.
Some nearby businesses, notably the Ulster Bank and the Bank of Ireland have given up land to facilitate the building work and the original plan was to site the main street entrance to the NSC through where the Bank of Ireland building stands.
The proposal also envisaged an entrance on to Corban’s Lane from South Main Street (adjacent to the Maharajah restaurant) as well as road realignment works along Friary Road/Corban’s Lane and the levelling of the old railway bridge at Friary Road. This road was to carry traffic to the centre. None of this work has yet been done.
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