Over 2 acres of town centre sold to investment fund
A Dublin-based investment fund has finalised a multi-million deal for the 2.42 acre block of retail and development space in Cavan Town centre.
Local business people have been left to wonder what this might mean for future investment in the town, with one leading businessperson questioning if Cavan County Council should have tabled their own bid for the prime tract of land.
It's almost one-year since the €3.25 million-listed property portfolio - with sites facing Main Street, Thomas Ashe Street and Farnham Street - was listed for sale by vendor, Urban Renewal Enterprises (Cavan).
A spokesperson for the company confirmed to The Anglo-Celt this week: “The deal has concluded. The contracts have been signed.”
The identity of the new owners remains as yet unknown. It is unclear whether the consortium will resurrect plans similar to the retail centre rescaping as mooted by the previous owners prior to the economic crash in 2009.
Asked if the new owners would resurrect the ambitious plans, the Urban Renewal Enterprises spokesperson said they had given "no indication" that they would.
The town centre portfolio includes a total of eight retail units, eight apartments, two public houses, offices, a school, a former B&B, a car park, a house and a development site. Generating a rent roll worth €357,000, legacy tenants include Boots Pharmacy, Cavan Institute, Cavan County Council and the HSE.
The spokesperson for Urban Renewal said that they expected that a firm representing the new owners would begin engaging with local tenants impacted by the purchase as early as next month.
But proprietor of Cavan Gifts at 95 Main Street, one of the properties tied up in the deal, has expressed unhappinesswith the sale.
Mr Coleman, who also serves as chair of Cavan Chamber of Commerce said that considering the rebuttal given by ACC Bank to a proposal by local businesses to buy their own sites seven-years-ago, “It doesn’t matter who bought but, but if I’m paying rent knowing in 10-years I could’ve owned the place, it does sour things a bit.”
Mr Coleman regards the sale as possibly a missed opportunity for the council to redevelop the town centre.
“We would love to have seen someone come in and invest and develop the whole area. Investment is what the town needs. But I suppose we have to wait and see. Definitely one thing this town needs is investment.”
He is meanwhile of the opinion, given their remit and overarching concern for future development in the county town, that Cavan County Council could have submitted their own offer for the town centre portfolio. The area is zoned “town core” and a Master Plan area under the Cavan Development Plan 2014-2020.
“They’ll never get a chance like it again,” he told the Celt. “In my opinion they’re the ones who should’ve went for it. It could’ve been a great thing for the town. I don’t know whether they can buy places like that, but if they’ve an idea for how they want the town to develop it was a perfect opportunity.”
Current directors of Urban Renewal Enterprises (Cavan) Limited are Darragh Elliott, Noel Elliott (Snr), David MacKey and Noel Elliott (Jnr).