Hillsborough construction giant Graham has begun work on a €9.3 million scheme to overhaul Ireland's largest shopping complex between now and the run-up to next Christmas.
It has been appointed by Multi-Ireland, which manages the Blanchardstown retail and leisure complex near Dublin for its owners Blackstone, which has an annual footfall of more than 16 million people, many from the north.
The revamp will see the centre welcome eight new stores and unveil a modern reimagined space, and more than 65 Graham employees and subcontractors will be working on the project until November.
The scheme aims to enhance the internal appearance and functioning of the existing mall areas which cover some 1,100,000 sq ft or retail space with a further 200,000 sq ft of leisure space occupied by cinemas, a theatre and arts centre as well as Ireland’s largest public library.
Graham contracts director Neill Gillespie said: “Given our recent experience in retail refurbishments of this scale, we're confident we will overcome the challenges this type of project brings and successfully hand over a modernised shopping and leisure environment that will benefit both the tenants and visitors to the centre.”
The Blanchardstown contract follows the £750 million-turnover Graham’s newest retail agreement with Primark to revamp four of its UK stores in a £25m deal.
Mr Gillespie added: “We will be bringing Blanchardstown into the new generation of retail and conclude with a space that provides a more streamlined, modern shopping experience.
“This will include new floors at level one and two, replacement of bulkheads and shopfronts and revised signage as well as the replacement of internal suspended ceilings at level one.
“There will also be alterations made to the central mall area with travellators replaced with escalators and two lifts, the removal of a water feature and the addition of a children’s play area.”
Blanchardstown already counts Dunnes Stores, M&S, Debenhams and Penny’s among its anchor tenants, but after this latest upgrade will welcome the likes of JD Sports and Aldi to its shopping mix.
Graham operates from a network of 23 regional offices throughout the UK and Ireland and employs more than 2,200 staff, half of whom are based at its Northern Ireland operations in Hillsborough and Belfast.
This article was first seen on https://www.irishnews.com/business/2020/01/09/news/graham-beings-9-3m-revamp-of-blanchardstown-centre-1809124/