A NUMBER of traders from the fire-damaged Douglas Village Shopping Centre are hoping to open prefab stores on the nearby Douglas Woollen Mills site.
The shopping centre has been closed since a fire tore through its multi-storey car park in August, leaving traders to seek alternative arrangements.
It could be next August before the centre reopens as partial demolition work is required before the car park can be rebuilt.
A group of traders met today to discuss their concerns and plans.
They hope to meet with City Hall representatives in the coming days to discuss the possibility of opening temporary stores on the grounds of the nearby Woollen Mills.
There is concern among the traders that planning permission may be required before the shopping centre can be rebuilt.
If that is the case, traders feel they will not be able to reopen their stores within the next year as they fear a drawn-out process awaits them.
Some traders have already established pop-up stores while others have transferred staff and stock to new locations.
Cork City FC announced today that it will open a new store in Mahon Point shopping centre from 9.30am on Thursday.
“We had a unit in Douglas Village for the past number of years and obviously the closure of the centre has had a big impact on traders, including ourselves,” said merchandise manager David O’Rourke.
“This, though, is finally some positive news. We’re looking forward to getting set up.”
It was also revealed last week that a main traffic route to the South Ring Road at Douglas village could remain closed for months as works continue on the fire-damaged shopping centre car park.
The road, which has become a widely used route linking Douglas east and west and connecting the village to the South Ring Road, faces the entrance to the Douglas Village Shopping Centre’s overground car park and is under the ownership of its developer, Clayton Love.