WORKERS are on site this week in Castleconnell to refurbish empty shopping centre units that have long been labelled an “eyesore”.
The Castle Court Centre was completed by Rimgate Developments in 2007. While some units have been successfully occupied for years the remaining have been left idle and became a hub for anti-social behaviour. A controversial wall was lowered to try and open the units up but a big bugbear with locals was shops being built with their frontage behind a wall.
However, the sold signs have gone up in recent weeks. Acting on behalf of the receiver – Eoin Ryan of HLB McKeogh Gallagher Ryan – Gordon Kearney, of Rooney Auctioneers, said: “It was an eyesore for the village and I know everyone in the village wants to see something happen with it so we are glad that the sale has been completed and new life is going to be brought back in to the block.”
It was bought by JC Gubbins, of Murphy Gubbins Auctioneers, for a client. See next week’s edition for his plans.
The Limerick Leader understands eight first floor apartments and six ground floor commercial units sold for a figure close to €300,000.
Mr Ryan said: “As Bank of Ireland appointed me receiver to the developer – Rimgate Developments Ltd - I am pleased that the remaining unsold units at the Castle Court Centre have been recently sold. I hope this represents positive news for the centre and Castleconnell."
Senator Kieran O’Donnell also welcomed the fact that something is going to happen.
“I obviously welcome anything that brings vibrancy to unoccupied buildings in Castleconnell. You have many established businesses in the centre that have operated there over a long number of years,” said Senator O’Donnell.
Local artist, Barbara Hartigan was so irked by the empty units that she painted false windows or “trompe l’oeil” (trick of the eye) to look like a sweet shop with the help of Tidy Towns and locals.
Barbara will be thrilled when they are occupied for real.
“I would be absolutely delighted to see the whole area rejuvenated, used and vibrant. Its location is very prominent and creates a first impression as you enter the village – the Tidy Towns have done a wonderful job in enhancing clearing and improving so many areas and all their efforts are noticed and appreciated,” said Barbara.
See next week's Limerick Leader, broadsheet editions, for more on the plans for the centre.