Property giant Hammerson is working on a plan to build hundreds of apartments in Dundrum in a mixed-use scheme.

The company owns a development site beside the enormous Dundrum Town Centre, which it also owns with joint venture partner Allianz.

Simon Betty, Hammerson‘s director of retail for Ireland, said the company was “working through our appraisals, trying to find the best outcome for that site”.

He said it was hard to say how many residential units would end up there, but that it was likely to be hundreds.

Other development sites in Hammerson‘s portfolio include the old Carlton cinema site on O‘Connell Street in Dublin. Mr Betty said the company was “working up a design solution” and that retail, leisure, food and beverage, hotel, apartment and office uses were being looked at. “There‘s probably a role for all of them to a greater or lesser extent.”

A third development site here is near the Pavilions shopping centre in Swords – another Hammerson asset. That is likely to see a mixed-use scheme with a residential element.

Yesterday, Hammerson said footfall at its Irish shopping centres had been 3pc lower year-on-year in the first half, with the extreme weather in February and March a major factor.

Mr Betty said that adjusting for that and other exceptional items, the company believes trade in the first half of the year was “flattish”.

“Ireland is going through its own period of channel shift towards online shopping that perhaps the UK went through several years ago. As a consequence of that, the role of the physical retail store is changing.” He said in future shopping centres are likely to see more units occupied by less traditional entities, citing car-sellers as a major growth area.

Irish Independent