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Cork businessman adds Newry shopping centre to empire in €20m deal



Cork businessman adds Newry shopping centre to empire in €20m deal

Cork businessman Tom Coughlan’s shopping centre shopping spree is continuing – with the property magnate adding the Quays Centre in Newry to his portfolio.

The colourful entrepreneur – a former owner of Cork City FC – has been picking up shopping centres like most people pick out new coats, with Douglas Village and now The Quay’s in Newry added to an empire that also has Limerick’s Castletroy Shopping Centre, the Town Centre in Shannon and the Bridgwater Shopping Centre in Arklow, Co Wicklow.

On Leeside, his interests include the successful Marina Market in the former Ford Factory complex and the Atkins Hall apartments (former hospital) overlooking the Lee at Shankiel.

But his Monahan Road-based Urban Green Private (UGP) property group has targetted suburban shopping centres that have been struggling with tough times in retail, and betting that they still have big appeal for shoppers, if they can become destination attractions, offering a vibrant mix of quality shops, cafes and leisure/entertainment.

Tom Coughlan of Cork-based property group Urban Green Private

The Quays in Newry had gone into recievership and Coughlan struck the €20m deal with the receivers who took control of the 375,000 sq ft development in 2022.

And it could be a shrewd move. Coughlan and UGP see Newry as a key centre in the fast emerging Dublin-Belfast economic corridor, roughly half-way between the two cities and well poised to attract shoppers and travellers from both. With Power Sharing now restored in the North, bringing the prospect of revived economic fortunes, the timing could prove to be right.

The Quays shopping centre is well placed to cater for shoppers from the south looking to buy UK brands when Sterling weakens against the Euro and supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is the anchor tenant, along with Marks & Spencer, Ominiplex Cinemas, Superdry and Waterstones among the mix of stores.

It’s been a period of accquisiations of shopping centres in Cork – the O’Leary family, of Leeside’s O’Leary Insurance group, recently bought the Douglas Court shopping centre in a deal believed to be worth €25m.

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