THE newly elected president of the Limerick Chamber Gordon Kearney has warned if the Parkway Valley project does not happen, the city won’t necessarily benefit as a result.
Instead, he thinks that the city should support the development of the multi-million euro Dublin Road project – and focus on enticing tourists from the outskirts of town into the city centre through a free shuttle bus service.
It is believed that the Parkway Valley development has sought to attract British retailer Marks and Spencer as an an anchor tenant. But auctioneer Mr Kearney - who is to serve a year as the Chamber president - has said big retailers would not come to the city if for whatever reason the stalled Parkway Valley project does not reach fruition.
“It is not an either/or situation that if the Parkway Valley project does not happen, all the retailers will flood to the city centre. They won’t, unless the anchor tenant is there,” he said.
Mr Kearney follows in his father Pat’s footsteps as Chamber president. He now runs the family firm, Rooney Auctioneers, which has previously had business dealings with Suneil Sharma, the Belfast-based businessman who has taken over the Parkway Valley site after selling out his interest in the ill-fated Opera Centre development in the city.
- said that the costs associated with bringing a large retailer into the city centre are only justifiable in a shopping centre.
And he warned that any deal could even be lost to one of Ireland’s other cities: “If the Parkway Valley doesn’t happen,