AFTER the closure of major companies on Cruises Street - including HMV, Vodafone and Game - two of the seven vacant units on the pedestrianised street are expected to be filled in the near future.
Gordon Kearney of Rooney’s Auctioneers confirmed that the travel agents Trailfinders have purchased a unit on the street, the former Benetton store, which will see the creation of up to 15 jobs. It is expected the store will open in March or April.
Two other competitors are bidding for 32A Cruises Street, with bids exceeding the asking price of €220,000 for the 1,335 sq. feet (124 sq. metres) unit, which was formerly Heirlooms.
Next door No 32 Cruises Street, a former bank, is also listed for sale through agents DTZ, with a price of €425,000, for the 1,894 sq. feet unit.
Figures from Daft.ie, the property website, show that 165 commercial properties are for sale in Limerick city centre, among 553 for sale or to let.
Among the most expensive commercial property listed for sale in the city includes No 36 O’Connell Street, a four storey Georgian building and formerly home to Azur on the ground floor, is for sale for €1.95m.
No 32/33 William Street, home to Paddy Power bookmakers, also has a six-figure price-tag, at €1.1m.
Available through De Courcy estate agents, its lease expires in 2031, and has an annual rental income of €90,000.
“It’s a very good investment property, with very good tenants,” said the agents.
The Cauldron bar on Nicholas Street has an asking price of €650,000, and No’s 22/23 Patrick Street, formerly Irwin Bros. has a guide price of €325,000.
AIB branches across Limerick, among 10 in the country, will be offered for sale shortly through Dublin commercial agent Bannon. The AIB branch at William Street in Limerick will be among the first tranche of former bank buildings to be offered for sale, with a price of €220,000.
The former AIB buildings in Castletroy, Doon and Dromcollogher are also listed for sale or to let, though prices have not yet been disclosed.
Elsewhere in the city the Bank Bar on O’Connell Street remains for sale, after being pulled from one Allsop Space auction for distressed properties last year. It that time it had a reserve of €400,000.
A recent report compiled by Limerick Chamber, entitled The Changing Face of Retail, claimed that vacancy rates in Limerick city now stand at 9.4%, down from 11.1% in January 2012, in comparison to the national average of 11%. Of the 297 retail units located within the central retail core audited, 28 were empty last month.