Shopping Centre

Kilkenny is set for transformation

Published:  10 November, 2006

Two new rival commercial developments are set to attract big retail names and transform the city of Kilkenny.

Work is already at an advanced stage in the first of the two new commercial developments, MacDonagh Junction. Chesterbridge Developments, backed by businessmen Paul Hanby and Paul Newman, is investing ?250m in a mix of retail, office and residential units on a 10.5-acre site beside the railway station. MacDonagh Junction will provide Kilkenny with 25,100 sq m of new shopping space, including anchor tenant Dunnes Stores with 7,000 sq m.

Letting negotiations for a separate mall containing 50 retail units of sizes varying from 62 to 1,685 sq m are under way with prospective tenants believed to include Next, Waterstone's, Virgin, H Samuel and River Island.

The rest of the development will include a hotel, 101 one and two-bedroom apartments, a double-basement 1,100-space parking lot, civic offices and a bowling alley.

The other development is at the Livestock Mart site. The mart is relocating to a new facility outside the city at Cillín Hill and plans, along with the NCT car-testing centre, to move next spring, vacating a 13.2-acre site.

Kmart Properties, a joint venture between Kilkenny Livestock Market and Melcorpo Property Development, has lodged a planning application for the ?200m first phase of Citymart, a mixed-use urban development totalling 48,729 sq m incorporating shops, restaurants, offices, cinema, healthcare centre, 48 apartments and 1,200 car-parking spaces.

A decision on the planning application is expected by the end of the year and the anticipated schedule would see construction begin next July, opening to the public in 2009. Speculation is already rife that Tesco and Marks & Spencer are potential tenants.