IKEA might be coming to O'Connell Street in Dublin
Out with the old, in with the new?
O'Connell Street could be the site of a brand new IKEA branch as iconic Dublin department store Clerys officially goes under the hammer.
Clerys operated on the capital's main thoroughfare from May of 1853 until its closure in June of 2015, having initially gone into receivership three years earlier.
A report in the Irish Independent on Thursday contends that the Swedish furniture juggernaut is just one of many interested parties expected to show official interest when first round bids for the vacant lot are submitted next week.
The Independent understands that members of IKEA's global property team travelled to Dublin in recent weeks to meet with businesswoman Deirdre Foley, who is heading up the Natrium Consortium group that owns the building.
Natirum acquired the property for €29 million in 2015, and anticipate an ultimate sell-on of around €60 million.
It is believed that the IKEA team undertook a walk-through of the Clerys site while they were in Dublin.
A spokesperson is quoted talking up the company's commitment to growth and investment in Ireland, noting that they have been "investigating the potential" of introducing a second store in the Irish market for some time.
The spokesperson cites Cork as a specific desired location, but notes that there are "no confirmed plans" in place for a new store at the present time.
An adjoining block of properties on O'Connell Street will be sold in tandem, while there is pre-existing planning permission for a major overall development made up of retail outlets, office space, hotel and entertainment options.
Also believed to be interested in acquiring the Clerys property are Dublin-based outfit Press Up Entertainment, who run the likes of The Dean Hotel, The Workman's Club, The Liquor Rooms and Roberta's, along with the Belfast-born owners of New York's Dead Rabbit bar, which is temporarily shut down following a fire earlier this week.