Second hand bookshop now open on Clanbrassil Street

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Dundalk’s only not-for-profit second hand school bookshop is now open on Clanbrassil Street.

Operated by Dundalk People’s Centre, the resource at 30 Clanbrassil Street – opposite St Vincent de Paul and beside the old Oxfam shop – the shop has been in operation every summer since 1994.

It offers parents a way of cutting their costs on new school books, as well as cashing in their old ones.

Dundalk People’s Centre also offer low cost clerical services, as well as free training programmes and welfare rights services to help people get back into employment.

For further details visit http://drcu.ie/secondhandschoolbookshop

How much do Dundalk businesses pay in rent? A lot is the answer

dealz-540x300They might have some of the best bargains around but Dealz would have to sell more than 73,000 products just to meet the rent bill for its Dundalk store.

The Irish version of British chain Poundland, Dealz opened in the area last December. Best known for selling most items for just €1.49, Talk of the Town can reveal that the company are paying a whopping €109,136 rent annually for their store at Earl House on Earl Street.

That means that if the average product for sale in store is taken as €1.49 then they would need to sell 73,246 items per year just to meet the rent bill – and that’s before commercial rates, water rates, staff costs, electricity, security and insurance are taken into account, as well as the cost of buying stock in the first place.

The 10 year lease was agreed last December but Dealz are not the only local business paying a high rent for their premises.

A look at the commercial lease register by Talk of the Town revealed that many other local businesses are paying high rates.

In November 2013 the Property Services Regulatory Authority released the Commercial Lease Register, allowing people to evaluate commercial leases in their area. The register includes details of all terms of years of leases and rent payable that were agreed since January 1st 2010 and can be found at www.psr.ie

One business paying more than Dealz is Home Store and More in Dundalk Retail Park, who have an annual rent bill of €160,000.

Meanwhile, Life Pharmacy at 42/43 Seatown Place pay a lease of €100,000, while McCabe’s Pharmacy at Adelphi Court pay €34,000.

Tiger, who opened last month in the Marshes Shopping Centre, are paying €50,000 a year in rent according to the register. That’s €5,000 a year less than Starbucks are paying for their lease in the centre and €10,000 less than DV8 and Peter Mark pay.

Rent-GrowthVodafone are also paying €37,500 for their unit in the Marshes, while CEX pay €40,000.

The largest rent in the Marshes we came across was the €150,000 a year paid by the Euro 2 shop in 2011. Anchor tenants Dunnes and Penneys would no doubt pay more but their agreements came into force before the lease register came into existence.

Unit 5 of the centre, once occupied by A Wear, was taking in €100,000 in rent back in 2012 according to the register.

Indeed, the cheapest rent in the Marshes we could come across on the register was the €20,000 a year paid by River Café. In comparison, the largest rent listed for the Long Walk Shopping Centre was the €33,000 a year paid by Photospeed.ie.

You’d also want to sell a lot of stamps to cover the €40,000 rent for the post office at the Tesco Extra store at the old Dundalk Shopping Centre – a sum also being charged to Leaf Restaurant opposite it and Costa Coffee upstairs.

Meanwhile, Gourmet Palace – the recently opened Chinese and Thai Restaurant at 43/44 Park Street – has a rent bill of €31,200.

On the pub front, McManus’s Pub in Seatown pays €54,000 a year in rent, The Avenue Inn pays €52,262, The Castle Bar in Seatown has a lease of €42,000, The Fane on Park Street has a rent bill of €30,000, while the lease of Toale’s on Crowe Street is €28,600. Martin’s in Riverstown, meanwhile, is €37,440 while The Punter’s pay €42,000 and The Phoenix €36,400.

From a food perspective, Abrakebabra pay €31,200 in rent while next door neighbours The Golden Chopstick pay €15,600.

Meanwhile, the rent for the Avenue Stores on the Avenue Road is a massive €120,000 a year while the XL Shop in Jocelyn Street has a rent of €42,000.

Rents can be cheaper on the likes of Clanbrassil Street where the likes of Costcutter have an annual rent bill of €15,000 and Elmay Boutique pay €25,000.

Earl Street would appear to have something of a premium though with Riva Brasserie paying €54,000 a year in rent although Opening Minds pay just €16,500.

National-PenNational Pen, at €522,000 per year, had the largest rent bill we came across though, closely followed by PayPal at €400,000 a year. AIB, meanwhile, paid the largest lease on Clanbrassil Street at €239,000 a year.

It’s easy to see why some ventures don’t work though. The Fairways had a rent bill of €338,000 a year while the Cali Burrito shop on Park Street were paying €40,000 a year.

Despite some of the high prices paid recently for rents, by far the biggest lease in the area this year though was the €190,000 paid for an allocated space at Dundalk IT back in March.

What do you make of the rent figures listed? Are they over the top or about right and do they encourage people to get into business or to expand?

Let us know your thoughts.

Gardaí investigating cause of fire at Oxfam shop in Dundalk

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Gardaí are investigating a fire at a retail premises on Clanbrassil Street last night.

The incident occurred around 3am when two units from Dundalk Fire Service were called to a blaze at the Oxfam shop.

They spent 90 minutes bringing the fire under control. One person who was upstairs in the building managed to escape unharmed but the downstairs area was extensively damaged with large volumes of stock destroyed.

The scene has been preserved for a technical examination.

Anyone with information in the incident is asked to contact Dundalk Garda Station on 042 9335577 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Noonan rejects Dundalk’s bid to be included in Living City Initiative

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Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has poured cold water on Dundalk’s hopes of being included in the Living City Initiative.

A motion was put forward by local councillor Mark Dearey at the Dundalk Municipal District Committee’s annual general meeting earlier this month seeking to have the initiative – which focuses on the regeneration of retail and commercial districts in the historic centres of Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford – brought to the town.

It had been hoped the scheme, which offers tax relief on the refurbishment or conversion of old buildings, would encourage more people to take up residence in the town centre on streets like Clanbrassil Street.

However, when local TD Fergus O’Dowd asked Minister Noonan whether he would extend the list of eligible towns to include Dundalk and Drogheda, his appeals fell on deaf ears.

In his response, Minister Noonan said: “The Living City Initiative, which was enacted in the Finance Act 2013 and commenced on 5th May 2015, has been extended beyond the original pilot cities of Limerick and Waterford, to include the cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway and Kilkenny as well.

“In line with my Department’s commitment to evidence based policy-making, the inclusion of these additional four cities was as a result of a comprehensive, independent ex ante cost benefit analysis.

“This Initiative is targeting particular areas of these six cities which are most in need of regeneration. I do not currently intend to extend the Initiative further than the six cities. However, my Department will closely monitor the progress of the Initiative in the six cities, and will keep the matter of potentially extending the relief further under review.

“It is important to note that I do not see this as a wide-spread Initiative, as it is targeted at those areas in the six cities which are most in need of attention.”

New brunch menu launching at The Market Bar this Sunday

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The Market Bar on Clanbrassil Street will launch a new brunch menu this weekend, starting on Sunday from 12 noon to 3pm.

The popular tapas bar, which recently made a few changes to its menu, will be offering bottomless Pimms or Sangria, as well as a Prosecco menu.

For bookings call 042 93 56652.

Irish Nationwide unit on Clanbrassil Street could reopen as a shop

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Plans are in place to open a new shop at the former Irish Nationwide Building Society offices on Clanbrassil Street.

John Gao has applied to Louth County Council to convert the building from a financial institution at 86 Clanbrassil Street into a shop.

Irish Nationwide has been closed since 2011 when it was taken over by Irish Life and Permanent.

The Building Society was consequently split between its deposit book and its loan book, which was merged with Anglo Irish Bank to become the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

The unit on Clanbrassil Street, beside Smyth’s Pharmacy, has been idle ever since.

A decision by the local authority is due on August 5th.

United Krav Maga Ireland HQ to be based in Dundalk

1487428_814183058595079_514892991_nKrav Maga has been growing in popularity in recent times and now the United Krav Maga Ireland HQ is set to be based in Dundalk.

Krav Maga is a self defence system that anyone can learn and use regardless of size, fitness level or strength.

Welcoming the news that the new HQ for Ireland will be based in Dundalk, the local club said: “As well as this being fantastic news for our club in Dundalk, it is also great news for our organisation and clubs all over Ireland as very soon we will be starting Krav Maga training clubs in Dublin, Meath, Monaghan, Cavan, Armagh and Antrim.

“We as part of the internationally recognised and respected United Krav Maga World Organisation means we will be working closely with our large support network all over the world.

“Nowhere else will you receive the the high standard level of training with our chief instructor in Ireland Master Tomasz Adamczyk and our global expert team including some of the most respected Krav Maga instructors in the world today.”

United Krav Maga is based on Clanbrassil Street with further details available by calling 085 111 4604.

The Cellars has plenty to offer

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The Cellars, a new craft and traders’ market, opened its doors recently in the cellar, downstairs in McEvoy’s on Clanbrassil Street.

So far the market format has proven a huge success with many people visiting during the opening hours of Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm.

There are still some stalls available to rent, with details available from McEvoy’s. All types of arts crafts and traders welcome.
Here are some of the stalls that are currently trading:

Draiocht Handmade and Photography
At Draiocht Handmade and Photography, they specialise in handmade natural bath products, such as soaps, body scrubs, and body butters with a number of new products currently in the pipeline. They also have a vast selection of photography of Dundalk and the surrounding areas, also with a portrait studio opening soon.

Paris Chic
Paris Chic, brings a touch of the European jewellery market to Dundalk.  They are pleased to offer you a fine selection of one-of-a-kind hand crafted pieces and fashion accessories created by them and sourced from jewellery artisans all over Europe.

Mulholland’s Emporium
Mulholland’s Emporium stock creative craft kits for children and adults of all ages. Kits include mug and plate design, dream catchers as well as airfix models and military vehicle kits, and many more products.

Upstairs Downstairs
At Upstairs Downstairs they stock a range of vintage clothes with labels including, French Connection, Louis Vuitton, John Rocha and many others. Dresses, blouses, cardigans, tops and jackets at very affordable prices are available here.

Viv’s Krackin Sauces
At Viv’s Krackin Sauces they have products ranging from pizza sauce, hot sauce, relish etc. as well as baby porridge and porridge blends including nuts and seeds. All Viv’s products contain no additives and no preservatives. Viv’s goods are perfect for foodies, pressies, or little treats for yourself.

Dee’s Designs
Dee’s Designs specialise in handmade greetings cards for all occasions, including Father’s Day. There is also a selection of jewellery, all reasonably priced.

Alma Visual Artist
Alma Visual Artist offers a beautiful collection of original, hand painted, abstract and semi abstract artworks. Competitively priced, each artwork is vividly vibrant, imaginatively inspiring, aesthetically pleasing and uniquely special. A truly thoughtful gift, perfect for all occasions. Commissions also welcome.

Younique
Younique sells top notch make up and high end products. They are an international cosmetic company famous for their 3D Moodstruck fibre lash mascara, three times the wow factor. Let your eyes do the talking, call in and see Younique transform your look.

Brigid’s Cauldron
Brigid’s Cauldron is a holistic shop, selling incense sticks, crystals, angel cards, spiritual books and much more. Angel card readings and spiritual guidance are also available. Come in and see them for a chat.

The Vintage Snug
The Vintage Snug holds a selection of old and new items ranging from, fine bone china sets, mirrors, small pieces of furniture, antique items and personalised handmade pictures.

The Cycle & Trophy Shop reopens on Clanbrassil Street

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Clanbrassil Street has received a huge boost in recent days with the reopening of The Cycle and Trophy Shop.

The store at 48 Clanbrassil Street burnt to the ground in a blaze just days before Christmas on December 22nd 2013.

Since then its owner Eamon Begley has been operating the business for a number of temporary units, most recently from two doors up at 46 Clanbrassil Street – the former Junior’s store.

However, in June last year he was given the go ahead to rebuild his store, as well as two two bed apartments overhead, and the results are quite impressive.

The revamped store is said to be bigger and better than the original and certainly gives Clanbrassil Street a fresher look.

The fire at the Cycle Shop three days before Christmas in 2013

The fire at the Cycle Shop three days before Christmas in 2013

Dundalk seeking to become part of Living City Initiative

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A motion was put forward at the Dundalk Municipal District Committee’s annual general meeting last night seeking to have the Living City Initiative extended to Dundalk.

The Living City initiative focuses on the regeneration of retail and commercial districts and encouraging people to live in the historic centres of Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford.

The aim of the Living City initiative is to bring life back into the heart of the relevant cities by offering tax relief for qualifying expenditure incurred on the refurbishment or conversion of certain buildings where conditions are met. These property tax incentives apply in certain “special regeneration areas” (SRAs).

Cllr Mark Dearey of the Green Party put forward the motion to seek the extension of the scheme into Dundalk. A recent Sunday Times article titled ‘Rotting to the Core’ further highlighted how the centre of Dundalk is in need of regeneration with the number of people living on the likes of Clanbrassil Street now extremely low.

Cllr Dearey’s motion was supported by his fellow councillors and the local authority will now put forward a case to the Department of Finance to have Dundalk included in the scheme, which was launched early last month.