Retail Property - Plans tabled for a EUR50 million shopping centre in Portlaoise

A consortium of local developers has put forward plans for a EUR50 million (£33.4 million) shopping centre in Portlaoise in the Irish midlands.

A planning application is expected in a few weeks for the proposed Kyle Centre, which will have 120,000 sq ft (11,150 sq m) of floorspace.

The developers are understood to have signed Dunnes Stores as anchor tenant. Dunnes Stores, one of Ireland's largest retailers, plans to make the new Portlaoise store one of its biggest outlets outside Dublin.

In addition, the centre, designed by Milligan Reside Larkin, will have a further 20 units. The scheme will provide a combination of retail warehouse elements and conventional retail units.

Subject to planning approval, the development could be open for business before the end of 2005. As part of their case for more retail provision in the town, the developers point out that Portlaoise already draws on a very wide catchment across the midlands of Ireland, and it has been earmarked for expansion by the Irish government. As well as approving new house-building, the government has announced plans to relocate staff from the Department of Agriculture and Food from Dublin to Portlaoise.

Letting is being handled by Dublin-based Lisneys.