The Mill Centre put up for sale

by Ian Begley
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The Mill Shopping Centre in Clondalkin has gone on sale in one of the largest ever retail investment schemes being offered to the Irish market.
Five other Irish shopping centres are also to be offered for sale across Ireland in a single move by Lloyds Banking in an effort to recover some of the development loans granted by its defunct Bank of Scotland Ireland.
The Mill Shopping Centre forms part of a €120m spectrum portfolio launched by joint-selling agents Savills and Bannon with all properties funded by Lloyds Bank.
It comprises seven assets producing approximately €11m of income across all four retail sectors, namely retail warehouse, grocery retail centres, town centre retail and a suburban shopping centre.
The shopping centres on sale were officially launched to the market on September 8 and it’s now up to individual parties to approach Savills and Bannon.
A significant reason why the Mill Shopping Centre was chosen to be a part of this retail scheme was because of the development potential of the site. The centre comprises a single mall with 30 retail units and 820 surface car-parking spaces. The centre will have 100% occupancy when legal deals are complete with a passing rent roll of €1,291,100 per annum with an attractive lease of 10.9 years.
The sale will also include a rented three-storey office building and 94 car-parking spaces beside The Mill Shopping Centre.
Fergus O’Farrell, director of investments at Savills Ireland, and Roderick Nowlan, director of investments at Bannon, said: “The retail sector is clearly reaching a turning point. Retail sales are steadily increasing, there is a dramatically improved labour market and the prospect of more neutral budgets are now feeding through to the retail economy.
“We expect interest in the spectrum portfolio to be strong due to the diverse collection of assets on offer and its exposure to all sectors of the Irish retail market.”
Clondalkin Cllr Eoin O Broin (SF) told The Gazette that he welcomes the sale and hopes that the new buyer will ensure fairer rents for long-standing businesses within the shopping centre.
He said: “I would welcome the sale of the Mill Centre to a new owner who is willing to invest in a long-term viability of the centre, which should include seriously addressing the issue of rents and bringing the rents for long-standing businesses in-line of market rates.
“It’s completely unfair that long-standing local businesses [within the centre] are paying higher rents than other employers.
“The street cafe in the Mill Centre closed only a number of weeks ago because Lloyds Bank took the property back from Dunloe Ewart who were the owners. Lloyds then appointed a company called Green Management to go in and individually access the rent levels and viability of each business that was trading in there and see if they could offer some rent reductions.
“We know that some businesses did get rent reductions and we also know that the street cafe was a very busy and viable business but wasn’t granted a rent reduction by Green Management or Lloyds and as a result they were put out of business.
“We need a serious buyer who’s going to make it a better facility for everybody, both for businesses and for the customers.”

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