Over 250 new jobs in pipeline for €100m Square expansion

By Maurice Garvey

THE US investment fund which bought The Square Shopping Centre last year for €250m is planning a €100m expansion, that could lead to the addition of 250 permanent jobs at the Tallaght retail centre.

Oaktree Capital Management plans two separate expansions which will involve about €50m each, with work set to begin as early as next year.

Belgard Road Aerial Photo 008 compressor

The Square, Tallaght

Before Christmas, Oaktree lodged plans for an expansion on the south side of the centre to include a foodhall, nine restaurants and bars, and public plaza with outdoor seating.

The 10,000 sq m extension, on an existing car park, would also include six new shop units and retail kiosks.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Marcus Wren, managing director at Sigma Retail Partners, which manages The Square for Oaktree, said the plan would create “a true town centre”.

“This is the first time since it (The Square) was built that there is single control over the asset,” said Mr Wren.

“We are taking the view that this (planning process) could take six to 12 months. Once we get planning, we will go out to tender for a construction partner.”

The Square is the fourth largest retail park in Dublin and gets 15m visitors a year.

According to Wren, there are 19 acres of car parking at the centre, which “lends itself to expansion.”

The southern extension would involve 500 construction jobs and 250 permanent positions would be created in the finished development.

There is existing planning approval for a retail-led expansion to the north of the centre, including a new department store and several large shop units.

Wren said those units would be suitable for tenants such as Penney’s, TK Maxx and Zara, which seek large floorspace.

The northern extension will include a multi-storey car park and a new entrance to a plaza where the Civic Theatre and Rua Red are located.

Wren said the timing of the work on the northern extension would be determined by pre-letting space to retailers, and they will start engaging with potential occupiers this year.

“A number of our existing retailers have also expressed interest in upsizing. The centre is fully occupied, so there has been no scope for them to do that.”

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