Belfast Telegraph

Empty Hillview shopping centre in line for £3m restoration

By Rachel Martin

A disused north Belfast shopping centre that was once part of Nama's portfolio could be transformed in a £3m redevelopment.

Owners of Hillview Retail Park on the Crumlin Road said they planned to launch a public consultation on proposals to redevelop the centre in a bid to attract new businesses.

Until 2001, Hillview was owned by Killultagh Estates, a property company owned by developer Frank Boyd.

The park was taken over by Nama, the Republic's bad bank, and sold to Cerberus. After the vulture fund put it on the market for £2.25m, Killultagh snapped it up again.

The company said the centre had the potential to bring more than 300 jobs to the area should the plans get the go-ahead.

The investment - which is understood to be worth more than £3m - will see extensive construction work on the centre's buildings, as well as the creation of several food and drink outlets.

The public will have their chance to comment on the proposals, and a planning application will be submitted in September.

Killultagh is also understood to be in talks with a major supermarket and a large multi-national retailer.

Asda was previously expected to open a store in the supermarket unit in 2009. But issues with alcohol licensing saw the retailer pull out, and it is not currently involved in any discussions.

Units at the centre have been vacant for almost 10 years as the centre's management struggled to find tenants during the recession.

Laura McCarthy, asset manager at Hillview Retail Park, said she hoped the development would breathe life back into the area.

She added: "Thee units have been vacant for 10 years, so they will need extensive refurbishment. This a really good news story with a lot of potential for jobs."

Belfast Telegraph

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