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Belfast News Connswater Shopping Centre Concerns
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Belfast News: Connswater Shopping Centre Concerns

It is feared that East Belfast's main shopping centre, the Connswater Shopping Centre is in danger of closing as two of its main anchor tenants pull out. With Dunne Stores closing its large clothing store in the complex and Tesco to close in April its supermarket some fear for the long term viability of the East Belfast Shopping Centre.

Once owned by Developer Frank Boyd it is understood that the shopping centre and retail park at Connswater has now been sold for 31.5 million to a global investment management fund called Fortress, although agents for the sale refused to confirm this.

The shopping centre itself has indicated that it continues to trade as normal but with shoppers to the centre describing it as a ghost town, what does the future hold if even the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association is voicing concerns.

Editorial

The people of east Belfast will remember that gradual destruction of the Newtownards Road as a shopping precinct when the newly opened Connnswater attracted more and more of its customers. It would seem that continuing shopping trends and the opening of new stores such as the Tesco Supermarket on the Castlereagh Road have fed into Connswater shopping centre's current woes.

Its closure is unthinkable and unlikely given that an investment company has just purchased it. Unless, of course the investment fund has different ideas for the site.

Rumours abound that Asda or Primark could be sound replacements but the rumours may just be wishful thinking. One thing is for certain it is vital for the shopping centre to attract two big rent earners and vital that the two new anchors can maintain or increase footfall.



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