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NAMA looking for €15 million for Knocknacarra retail park

Enda Cunningham

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NAMA has put the Galway Gateway shopping centre in Knocknacarra on the market with a price tag of €15 million.

The centre – which is known locally as Knocknacarra Shopping Centre or the Galway West Retail Park – was developed by Michael Whelan of Rumbold Builders/Moritz Group at a cost estimated to be in the region of €60 million.

However, following the collapse of the property market and the banking sector, NAMA appointed receivers to the complex in 2012 – which includes a B&Q outlet, Next, New Look and a McSharry’s Pharmacy.

At the moment, those units are producing an annual rent of around €1.4m.

The adjacent Dunnes Stores outlet is understood to be independently owned by the retail chain.

The agency has now put the shopping centre – including the adjoining site which has planning permission for a second phase – along with the Wilton Shopping Centre in Cork and Drogheda Retail Park on the market. The portfolio is being sold as one lot with a price tag of €115m.

The Phase 2 planning permission includes:

  • A standalone 3-4 storey block located on the northern side of a new pedestrian link to Bóthar Stiofáin.
  • The block will include a crèche at ground floor level with external play area
  • 7 retail units at ground and first floor levels (95,000 square feet of retail space).
  • Primary health care facility at second and third floor with associated ground floor lobby/reception area.
  • 3 restaurant/cafe units at ground and first floor level (10,500 sq ft) north of Dunnes Stores.
  • a further 149 parking spaces in an extension to the existing basement carpark.

Rumbold had carried out extensive excavations for Phase 2 (adjacent to Dunnes), but work was abandoned in 2007 because the company could not secure funding to continue the project.

Their overall plan for the 57-acre site included a medical centre, pubs, a hotel, multiplex cinema, bowling alley, bank and car showrooms.

CITY TRIBUNE

Gardaí bid to identify body recovered near Mutton Island

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Gardai have launched an investigation following the discovery of a body in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.

A member of the public raised the alarm after spotting the body in the water while walking on the causeway to Mutton Island.

Galway Fire Service, Gardai and the RNLI attended the scene and recovered the body at around 4pm, before it was taken to University Hospital Galway for a post mortem.

It is understood that the body may have been in the water for some time.

Gardaí are currently examining a list of missing people in the city.

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Connacht Tribune

Gardaí investigate fatal Carraroe crash

Enda Cunningham

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A man in his 30s has died following a road crash in Carraroe in the early hours of this morning.

At 3.50am, Gardaí and emergency services attended at a single car collision on a minor road.

The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. A passenger in the car, a male in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

The road is currently closed and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators will examine the crash site this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Salthill Garda Station (091) 514 720 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Land Development Agency rules out Merlin ‘land grab’

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Campaigners have warned the Land Development Agency (LDA) to keep its hands off Merlin Woods.

Local community group Friends of Merlin Woods said that the amenity on the east side of the city is not suitable for residential development.

It has sought clarification on whether the LDA has earmarked part of the recreational and amenity lands for housing, after it appeared on its online database of publicly-owned lands.

In a statement to the Galway City Tribune, the LDA said its database compiles a list of all State lands, not just land for development.

In relation to Merlin Woods, the LDA said: “Those lands aren’t included in the LDA developments in Galway. The lands database is a map-based tool which compiles all State lands and has no reflection on development potential.”

It came after Caroline Stanley of Friends of Merlin Woods raised concern that land within Merlin Woods had been earmarked for development.

“I’d be concerned that it’s marked as residential when it’s in RA (Recreational and Amenity) land. Some is marked ‘open space’ but some is marked as ‘new proposed residential’ on its [LDA’s] database. It makes us wonder why. We’d like clarity and to clear it up.

“The message we’d like to get out there is we need clarification, whether it’s a mistake on the Land Development Agency’s part, or whether it is an area that they consider as a residential area, which the community would be opposed to. We need clarity. It could be something that is in line for development later on, we don’t know, and we need clarity.”

Councillor Owen Hanley explained that the fears around Merlin Woods stem from legislation currently making its way through the Oireachtas that would strip councillors of powers to veto the transfer of land to the LDA for housing projects.

The Bill would also allow Government to direct what public lands – including those owned by local authorities – can be transferred to the LDA for development of social and affordable housing.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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