Iconic Gala building back in business after five years

By Maurice Garvey 

THE Gala building in Ballyfermot, which was vacant since 2014, has a new tenant after discount homeware stores chain Homesavers moved in before Christmas.

The Echo understands the building sold for well over it’s asking price of €850k a year and a half ago.

Homesavers Ballyfermot

The Gala building in Ballyfermot

Whilst the name of the buyer has yet to be publicly disclosed, The Echo understands the building has been let out to the AIM Group, who operate a number of retail brands, including Homesavers.

Built in 1953, the Gala opened as a cinema, before use as a snooker and bingo hall.

Formally owned by the Kearney family, the property went into receivership at the start of 2014.

Retail giants Dealz pulled out of moving into the iconic building back in 2017, despite being granted permission to open a retail unit at the premises by Dublin City Council.

Shortly after Dealz pulled out, the building was put on the market, agents Turley Property Advisors listing a guide price of €850k.

Turleys told The Echo that the building attracted “significant interest”, and that the sale includes the entire building (gross internal area of 18,300 sq ft - ground floor footprint of 13,000 sq ft) and an adjoining carpark.

On November 30, Homesavers began trading at the Gala building – the chain’s first Dublin store following the recent opening of a number of similar Homesavers stores in the Leinster region.

Clondalkin wholesale and retail business AIM Group, founded in 1990 by Irish-based Indian businessman Naeem Maniar, operate a number of retail brands, including Homesavers. 

The Echo contacted the AIM Group on Wednesday, but were told most of the team were away at a conference and they wouldn’t be able to respond prior to going to print.

Independent Councillor Vincent Jackson welcomed the move but stated the carpark needs to be available for customers.

“It further enhances the shopping area but the big disadvantage is that the carpark is not yet opened,” he said.

“That is a key component. People have to park up at the Civic and they sell a lot of bulky goods. I’ve been in there myself and it is very well priced. It has done the area no end of good and is also open late most nights until 9pm.”

Cllr Jackson said the upstairs of the Gala building has yet to be leased out.

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