Administrators Seize Ealing Shopping Centre

Irish Government agency wins bid to wind up Glenkerrin

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The Arcadia Centre has been taken over by administrators after a hearing decided in favour of the Irish Government's debt recovery agency's application to seize the asset from Glenkerrin.

Glenkerrin, the developer behind the Arcadia project, did not contest the application. According to documents presented to the hearing the Ealing centre has around 50 shops with an annual rental income of £5 million. Glenkerrin was hoping to redevelop the existing shopping centre and replace it with a new residential/commercial development that would have included a 26 storey tower.

National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), the Irish State body tasked with reducing the amount of bad debts in the country's banking system asked for the company to be put into administration. The hearing took place yesterday (May 10th) and decided that Grant Thornton would takeover the company's five property projects including the one in Ealing.

Glenkerrin currently has a debt of 650 million Euros owed to NAMA which has already appointed receivers to the Irish properties owned by Ray and Danny Grehan.

The company was given approval by Ealing Council for the development by Haven Green of a 1.7 hectare site which would have provided high density retail mixed use scheme consisting of 18,542 sq m of retail space and 567 residential units as well as office and leisure facilities. But after substantial local opposition the project was rejected at a public enquiry at the end of 2009. Having invested over £10 million in trying to get approval and over £100 million in site acquisition Glenkerrin had said that they would continue to try to move the project forward. It is not known at this stage whether or not the administrators will seek to revive the project.

The Ealing Central and Acton Conservative MP Angie Bray said the takeover might not be such a bad thing:

''This may be a chance for a new beginning in Ealing Town Centre. Ever since the Arcadia development plans were rejected by the planning inspectorate, the site has sat there in the middle of Ealing with no real prospect of improvement.

'' The prospect of the site finding new ownership might offer Ealing Town Centre the possibility of a new way forward with fresh thinking on how best to bring regeneration and new life to our town centre.''



May 13, 2011