The sale of a number of commercial properties in Nenagh town centre has been welcomed by the local Chamber of Commerce.
Last week, Gough O’Keeffe Naugthon’s retail premises, the former Castle Brand site at Tyone railway bridge, O’Connors Nenagh Shopping Centre and the former Cameo boutique on Pearse Street were sold either privately or at auction.
“This must be construed as a positive for the town,” said Nenagh Chamber chief Tom Ryan of Adsmart. “We would welcome it from a Chamber point of view.”
The Tipperary Star understands that the pharmacy giant Boots has bought Gough O’Keeffe Naugthons for around E685,000, just under the asking price, and will now carry out a full refurbishment of the premises.
The Castle Brand site has been bought by a scrap metal business, while Lidl are the reported buyers of the O’Connors site. However both new owners may face extra costs with having to remove asbestos from the respective sites.
The Castle Brand site was sold for E225,000, down on the E10m that was being asked just three years ago, while last year it was rumoured that Lidl had offered around E300,000 for the O’connor’s site. It is believed the German chainstore is to move its current store from the rear of the site to the front, giving it increased floor space, while turning the current store into a distribution centre. The Tipperary Star understands that a confidentialty clause is in place prohibiting the sellers from making any comment on the deal.
“We have seen a marked improvement in the level of interest in commercial properties around the town,” said Mr Ryan. “We would love to see the town centre taking off especially when these properties have been bought for retail.”
He said that Nenagh, like so many other towns around Ireland, had gone through an “extremely difficult number of years”, and had been struggling because of the twin effects of ecommerce and out of town developments.
The one remaining large scale unit left unoccupied for the past number of years has been the former Dunnes Stores shop on Pearse Street. It is believed that the company has turned down a number of offers for the premises.
“We would absolutely love to see that premises taken on,” said Mr Ryan. “What we want is to see that street lifting off.”