26th February 2014
By Bryan Smyth
If only we had €750,000, if only, we could have bought a shopping centre in Cork City. No, this isn’t April Fools day.
A Cork city shopping centre went for auction yesterday with a guide price of a mere three-quarters of a million euro, and here is what is more surprising: It still failed to find a buyer!
The North Main St Shopping Centre with 14 retail units, a Dunnes Stores and a multi-storey carpark went for auction at Allsopp’s in the RDS yesterday minus the Dunnes Stores. Despite a starting price of a mere 750,000 euro there was not a single bidder.
Nine of the fourteen retail units are currently occupied with a combined annual rental income of 119,000 euro. Even if the five vacant units were to remain unfilled 7 years rental income would more than have covered the cost of purchasing the centre.
Anti Austerity Alliance councillor Mick Barry said this morning that the situation showed “the lunacy of the capitalist market where a shopping centre could go on sale for the price of a few houses and still fail to find a buyer.”
Cllr Barry said that there are properties of this kind all around the country which, in the hands of the State, could be used to assist not-for-profit and community-based projects and that a debate was needed on alternatives to market policies in these situations.