The new Dealz store in the city will be opening its doors shortly
DISCOUNT store Dealz has been announced as the new tenant on Bedford Row/Henry Street, which will result in the creation of dozens of jobs in the city centre.
The store, which is a division of British chain Poundland, will also be maintaining its store on William Street, which opened in 2011, creating 50 jobs in that 5,500 sq ft site.
Spanning three floors, the prime unit at the junction of Bedford Row and Henry Street is larger again, at over 9,000 sf ft. It is understood the deal is for a 15-20 year lease, amounting to a contract worth over €3m.
With the Savoy hotel, the city’s only five-star hotel just a few doors away, as well as high-end tenants such as Laura Ashley, some have questioned whether a more suitable tenant could have been found.
The metropolitan Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Jerry O’Dea, told the Limerick Leader: “Whilst I’m very happy to see further investment in the city centre, and a vacant unit filled, there is also the question about finding the right mix of retailers for different areas of the city centre.
“Ideally, I believe that this location is a prime footfall area for maybe a higher end tenant. Perhaps it’s not the best location for a discount store, but the council is very restricted in what it can do,” he explained.
His views were also echoed by James Ring, of Limerick Chamber, which includes a retail sub-committee, who said there was a great desire for brands such as Topshop or Miss Selfridge to set up in that location in the city.
“I would have envisaged a higher end retailer going in there, given that there are many fashion retailers around the street," he said.
"If the council and the Chamber could come together and work with the landlord to find the right tenant that would be the ideal solution to this. As always you have to welcome investment, but at the same time you want to see the right type of investment in the city centre,” he said.
Despite numerous requests from the Limerick Leader, a spokesperson for Dealz said that it was not in a position to comment on all the details at present.
Other business sources told the Leader: “This is a good letting for the city centre. Dealz is a good operator and they’re not going to bow out after 12 months to somewhere else. There’s still a difficulty in getting high-end tenants to come into the city, as there’s a desire to go out to the Crescent.”
This retail unit, which was built by developer Michael Daly’s Fordmount group, went up for sale for €1.8m in 2014 through the agent Savills.
At that time, the property was being offered with a new 10 year lease at a current market rent of €182,361 per annum, amounting to over €1.8m a year, or €3.6m for two years.
Some 84 apartments, the 93 bedroom Savoy hotel and six retail units were sold for some €18m to a Limerick based consortium.
However, the unit soon to be re-opened by Dealz - and formerly occupied by Pamela Scott’s, at No.7 Bedford Row, was not part of that sale.