RENT WARS ESCALATE
The commercial rent war has escalated with tenants in the Liffey Valley shopping centre in west Dublin being sued by their landlord. The retailers are in revolt over an attempt by the centre’s owners to raise rents by more than 10 per cent. Now Grosvenor Estates and Aviva Investors are suing some of the shopping centre’s most high-profile tenants for allegedly withholding rent. Last week High Court actions were filed against fast food chains McDonalds and Abrekebabra, restaurant chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen, textile store Carraig Donn and Champion Sports.
The Sunday Times reported that at least 20 other retailers are involved in legal disputes with the centre, including Dunnes Stores, Starbucks and A Wear. So far none of the cases has progressed to hearing. Rents at Liffey Valley are among the highest in the country – prime sites go for €4,500 per square metre, compared to €4,000 in Blanchardstown and about €2,500 in the Dundrum town centre. Dundrum is seeking rent increases of more than 60 per cent from many of its tenants to bring them into line with the other centres.