NAMA chiefs and the receiver charged with finding a buyer for Longford town’s vacant shopping centre are understood to be carrying out key maintenance works in a bid to uphold the building’s present condition.
According to Cllr Peggy Nolan, builders moved into the unsold precinct in recent days in a move which the Fine Gael representative has broadly welcomed.
“It’s (building) finished to a five star spec so the fact the receiver has gone in and is carrying out this work,” she said.
Confirmation surrounding Cllr Nolan’s claims were however uncorroborated at the time of going to press by FGS on Tuesday despite an attempt being made by the Leader some six days earlier.
Nonetheless, Cllr Nolan said she has been left in little doubt as to what the sudden change of tack might mean.
“Even better news would be if we could somehow get a brand name in there. Imagine what it would do for that end of the town. One thing is for sure, it would float a lot of boats,” she said.
Any hopes the current sitting mayor of Longford town had in terms of enticing British supermarket chain Asda to move in as the centre’s anchor tenant appear to have come unstuck.
“That won’t be happening now,” she said bluntly. “Both the director of services (Frank Sheridan) and County Manager (Tim Caffrey) had planned on going to Asda House in Leeds. We had even sent them a full spec of the building earlier this year with the permission of NAMA.”
Cllr Nolan said any lingering aspirations of brokering a deal with supermarket executives faded once it became clear what the retailer’s future business plans were.
“What they (Asda) want to do is start to open out of town headquarters which, as far as I am concerned, doesn’t fit in with our (Co Longford’s) development plan,” she said.