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First glimpse of proposed new Athlone development

Wednesday, 25th January, 2012 5:05pm

Story by Tadhg Carey
First glimpse of proposed new Athlone development
First glimpse of proposed new Athlone development

This is the first glimpse of an ambitious retail and office development planned for the Golden Island area of Athlone.

Last week, the Westmeath Independent revealed details of the massive plan at the junction of the Golden Island Road and the Carrickobrien Road which could create hundreds of jobs.

And this image gives a clear indication of the scale of the development as it dwarfs the Golden Island Shopping Centre.

With a gross floor space area of 18,689 square metres, the proposed development would be somewhat larger than the overall Golden Island Shopping Centre (circa 16,000 square metres), which is pictured in the right background of this image.

The new development is to be anchored by a proposed 6,000 square-metre retail store, the maximum permitted under retail planning guidelines, which can be seen at top centre of image. The proposed mixed use development is arranged in four blocks which range in height from two to four storeys.

Speaking this week, Tony Diskin, who is part of Tiane Ltd, the promoters of the development, highlighted the potential jobs dividend from the project.

"Other councils around the country are crying out for such a development and in these horrendous economic times I feel this will be a welcome and much-needed project in this gateway town," he said.

He said he was disappointed to note that Westmeath had one of the highest level of people on the live register in the country. "Seeing this has made me even more determined to lodge this planning application with the view to being able to create excess of 300 full-time jobs along with hundreds more during construction," he said.

"If this project receives approval from the council along with the recently approved Chinatown development in Creggan we will see Athlone at the forefront of commercial enterprise in the country and help put an end to the high levels of unemployment that blight our county," he added.

Mr Diskin insisted there was a demand for a retail project of this scale in Athlone.

"This is not a speculative development. All our research, together with the findings of my commercial agents, show there is a demand for a project of this scale in Athlone," he said.

"Not only will it increase the footfall in the Golden Island region, it will also increase the footfall and spend in the other parts of Athlone town which should help so many businesses that may be struggling in these harsh economic times."

Describing himself as a big believer in Athlone's potential both now and in the future, he said: "Athlone boasts an unrivalled shopping experience already, and this development will only strengthen its commercial activity, which is in the recommendation of the County Development Plan".

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