The developer of the revamped Clerys building is seeking a Government-led investment programme to transform O’Connell Street into Dublin’s “primary destination”.
head of the iconic department store’s reopening later this year, Derek McGr ath of Core Capital says the Dublin 1 thoroughfare should be “the street in our capital of which every Irish person is proud”.
With hiring set to start, Mr McGrath revealed that the Dublin North East Inner City Group has been appointed as a point of contact for former employees and recruits.
H&M, Flannels, Premier Inn Group and the Press Up Group – which will be opening a rooftop restaurant – will offer “substantial employment”, he says.
In a letter to Labour senator Marie Sherlock, Mr McGrath said there has been positive feedback following talks with Dublin Town and Public Expenditure Minister Pascal Donohoe.
“We would, however, welcome further engagement with the local authorities and Government departments to explore a Government-led capital investment programme securing O’Connell Street as Dublin city’s primary destination,” he said.
“With its rich history embedded in the establishment of the Republic of Ireland, and stunning architectural buildings, this should be ‘THE’ street in our capital of which every Irish person is proud. We hope that our contribution will represent a milestone in this chapter.”
He notes that Core Capital acquired the building in 2018. The developer said they were not the party responsible for closing the building, with significant job losses.
Mr McGrath said he has notified the three main tenants of a previous deal to provide employment opportunities to locals.
The next phase of the development will be a handover of units to tenants, who will install their “fit-out” over a period of three to four months.
During that period, he says the tenants will begin hiring.
Core Capital is in the process of appointing a local recruitment agency to create a training pack for successful job applicants.
“Since acquiring the building, we have invested a substantial amount of capital in this project, and we are extremely confident that this will significantly contribute to the regeneration of O’Connell Street and the surrounding Dublin 1 area, from an economic, social and physical perspective,” he added.
Senator Sherlock said it was positive that the owners of Core Capital recognise the importance of engagement with the local community.
She added: “The extent of those efforts are yet to be seen. We will be pushing to see the fulfilment of the original deal to see there is decently paid, quality employment at the Clerys building for local communities.”
Meanwhile, Mr McGrath said Core Capital intends to deliver a world-class mixed use of commercial development to create a vibrant new destination in Dublin.
He said it is providing sponsorship to local social programmes and recently hosted a preliminary opening of the Clerys archives. Local schools were invited.
The developer said this showcased old artefacts, illustrating the journey on which the Clerys building has come since its construction in 1853.
“We are proud to showcase a building with such rich heritage and breathe new life into this building and destination for its next 200-year journey,” he said.
“Lastly – and this is an obvious statement but nonetheless worth mentioning. As a developer, it is a rare opportunity that one gets to work on such a historic and emotive property.
“But it is also critical for the developer that the development of a building results in a successful outcome.”
Elaborating on this, he added: “It is a core focus for us to bring exceptional occupiers/tenants to this location to create footfall, business, trade, employment and overall, a general physical and social improvement of the surrounding area.”
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