Limerick retailers are flocking to growing number of retail parks
City councillors have lamented that they are contributing to Limerick's "doughnut effect", but the rise of the suburban retail park continues at a relentless pace if developments at City East Retail Park are anything to go by.
The Parkes' Properties project on the Tipperary Road is "fast becoming the new shopping destination for the east of the city", according to auctioneers Hamilton Osborne King, who have formed a strategic association in Limerick with O'Connor Murphy Gubbins, O'COnnell Street.
The arrival at City East last year of British DIY giant B&Q has sparked off a flurry of activity among retailers trying to secure one of the few remaining units.
The fIrst. phase of the multi-million euro development comprises 10 units ranging in size from 700 to 1858 square metres.
At present, just thtee units remaine following the signing of other top retail names induding Australian furniture and electrical superstore Harvey Norman, UK motor accessory store Halfords and Irish quality funllture outlet In Store.
Ronan Rooney, Hamilton Osborne King, said these flagship retailers· were quick to see a golden opportunity in deciding to locate at City East not far from the interchange of the Tipperary Road and the Southern Ring Road.
"Because Limerick is the largest city on Ireland's western corridor and the fastest growing commercial shopping and business centre outsIde of the greater Dublin area with a shopping catchment of 360,000, B&Q has clearly spotted the potential of locating here," Mr Rooney said,
"This has been reiterated with the recent opening of one of Ireland's leading toy chains Toymaster and the recent signings of Harvey Norman, Halfords and InStore"
"City East," he added "is off to a flying start with only three units remaining and B&Q reporting excellent trading figures to date".
Harvey Norman, with existing store locations' in Swords and Dundalk, have become increasingly aggressive within the market in the last year and have just committed to a 4220 square metre store at City East.
City East is only three kilometres from the city Gentre and within easy reach of rural shoppers coming in by national primary routes.
And, crucially, there are over 500 surface car parking spaces already available to customers.
The three remaining units within the Retail Park are the ideal size for bulky goods retailers ranging from, 679 to· 936 square metres.