The new owners of Lisburn Square have revamped and relaunched the area with the aim of bringing some European cafe culture to the city centre.
Tenants are being lined up for the newly refurbished units and it is hoped there will be a mix of independent retailers and cafes, which will spill out into the piazza and bring a much needed boost to the city centre’s night time economy.
Gary McCollum from Lisburn Square, said the rent and rates of the units had been significantly reduced, to just £12,000 per annum, to enable local and independent retailers the opportunity to set up shop in the city centre.
“Lisburn Square had been unloved and badly managed but it was a blank canvas and we saw the potential,” he explained.
The new owners have a vision of creating something similar to Belfast’s popular St Anne’s Square, with more leisure than retail space.
“We want to give the Square a more European feel with a bit of a buzz about it.
“There will be a different mix of use, with less retail and more leisure, with some business as well.
“We are currently talking to a number of potential tenants and we have had interest from both local and established businesses.”
Nicky McCollum, development director, Lisburn Square commented on the event: “We were delighted with the turnout at the launch event. The calibre of our guests indicates how important the future success of Lisburn Square is to the area.“Despite the new look and feel that Lisburn Square has due to the Enhancement Programme and various investments in the physical attributes, it still represents one of the least expensive retail spaces available across Northern Ireland. We have offered very attractive lease terms which, along with the 65% to 70% reduction in rates, presents an extremely viable location for businesses.
“The investment that we are putting into Lisburn Square is not a one-off face lift that will deteriorate over time. We will oversee an ongoing support, with regular attention to ensure it can become the number one location in the area for individuals seeking to shop, have coffee, go to the gym, or have an evening out.”
Attending the event was the Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Thomas Beckett. Speaking of the potential the new Square poses for Lisburn and Castlereagh he said: “The long-term commitment to Lisburn Square is welcome and the physical difference to the area can be seen. The Council is very supportive of the plans.
“It is a demonstrable commitment to the City, and, in line with other development schemes, shows an investment in the future of the area and its people.”
There are currently 29 retail units of which 15 are available for immediate occupancy, as well as two storeys of office and residential space.