Mill traders warn of job losses over rents

by Gazette Reporter
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Local traders have warned that jobs will be lost unless upward-only rent reviews are revised.
Traders from the Mill Shopping Centre in Clondalkin village have united to slam the “Celtic Tiger rents” that they feel they are being charged.
Paul Conway of Tower Jewellers, who have been in the centre since it opened over 15 years ago, said that the rents being demanded of him and other traders was a relic of a more prosperous time.
“In the current climate, where there is 29% unemployment and people have much less disposable income, the landlords are still looking for Celtic Tiger rents,” said Paul, who added that decreased spending, coupled with high rents, were causing concerns to traders.
“It is very concerning for a lot of people, especially when we know that new tenants are able to re-lease empty units for a lot less than we’re paying. I’d be better off leaving this unit and moving into an empty one, but I’m tied into a lease agreement, which has upward-only rent reviews.”
Paul’s business has another unit in The Blanchardstown Centre and says that dealing with management there is an entirely different experience.
“In Blanchardstown, management are very pro-active in terms of keeping people in the centre and keeping people employed, but in the Mill, we’ve been knocking at the door for a few years with no response. We then get told that it is the banks but we’re never able to talk to someone from the banks.”
Paul says that leaving the centre is one option that he has looked at but doesn’t want to add to the dole queues in Clondalkin.
“I have four staff and they are great girls and very loyal, so I don’t want to close the shop, for them as much as anyone.
“Nobody wins if we do that.”
Sinn Fein representative for the area, Eoin O’Broin, called on the local community to rally around the traders.
“Unfortunately, the landlord is not listening. As a result, businesses and jobs are being put at risk by unacceptably high rents
“If something is not done soon the Mill Centre could lose long-standing businesses and with them much-needed jobs.
“I am also calling on the local community in Clondalkin to rally behind our local businesses and support the call by the traders for [landlords] Dunloe Ewart and Rosthwaite to reduce the rents to sustainable levels.”
Dunloe Ewart had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to print.

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