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Jobs pledge in Clerys redevelopment

Published 19/06/2015

The closure of Clerys has sparked protests by the department store's axed staff
The closure of Clerys has sparked protests by the department store's axed staff

The investment consortium which bought Clerys department store has vowed to create 1,700 jobs in a two-year redevelopment plan.

Natrium said it was conscious of the impact its deal has had on the 460 workers, some of whom have been forced on to the dole after a lifetime at the Dublin retailer.

The investment engine said it plans to redevelop the site and other adjacent properties mainly for retail, which it said will be "an important catalyst" in the revival of O'Connell Street as one of Europe's great thoroughfares.

Natrium said the landmark building and clock will play a central role in its plans.

The investors - Deirdre Foley's D2 Private and London-based fund manager Cheyne Capital - have faced damning criticism over their approach to the deal.

A Natrium spokesman said: "There is strong demand from international retailers and other commercial users for unique and best-in-class spaces within the city centre that is not currently being met.

"Natrium looks forward to proceeding with its plans for the Clerys properties and the surrounding area in compliance with Dublin City Council planning policy."

Natrium said it was established to invest in Irish property, mainly in Dublin city centre.

It bought the building, which traded as a department store for more than 160 years, from Boston-based Gordon Brothers last Friday.

Staff were given no notice and concession holders threatened legal action after being locked out from getting stock and amid concerns that they were owed 2 million euro from sales which was held in trust.

After no comment for a week, Natrium said it recognises the considerable public interest in Clerys' future.

It said its investment will support 1,000 jobs in the planning, design, refurbishment and construction stages of the project over two years.

The developed store will be predominantly retail but include other commercial uses, subject to planning, Natrium said.

Some 1,700 jobs are expected to be created when the new centre opens.

The investors did not discuss their handling of the closure of the store or its liquidation except to say they had been advised that all issues related to it are legally a matter for the court-appointed liquidator.

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