Backers say €400m Mervue development is still viableMay 22, 2012 - 7:30am
BY ENDA CUNNINGHAM
The backers of the €400 million Crown Square retail and residential development in Mervue – which was abandoned nearly four years ago – still believe the project is viable, despite the collapse of the property sector.
Property sources have told the Sentinel that Galway developers Padraic Rhatigan and Walter King still think the single biggest development the West of Ireland has ever seen can still be completed. The site was abandoned at the end of 2008 when it ran into funding difficulties.
Since then, three companies belonging to Padraic Rhatigan – which owe creditors a combined total of €315m – have been placed in receivership, while a receiver has been appointed to certain assets owned by Walter King through his GK Developments vehicle.
Despite the collapse of the property market and the economic downturn, the developers believe the project can still be completed.
It’s understood they are reviewing the overall plans for the site – a five-year ‘Extension of Time’ application is likely to be lodged with Galway City Council before September, when the existing planning permission expires.
“Options are being looked at, and a development on that site is still viable. Galway still needs a project like this, there’s nothing like it anywhere else,” the source said.
The second phase of construction had begun on the site, before it was abandoned in September 2008.
The massive 12.65 acre site was to be developed into retail units – to be anchored by homeware company Heatons – offices, a hotel and 140 apartments, as well as a ‘public piazza’ to be bigger than Kennedy Park in Eyre Square.
Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel