The Lord Mayor of Dublin Councillor Emer Costello hosted a meeting at the Mansion House this morning (15th March 2010) with representatives of the Grafton Street Traders, Dublin City Business Association (DCBA), Dublin Business Improvement District (Dublin BIDS) and a number of councillors across the political spectrum. The meeting was called in an effort to support the traders who are facing upward only rent reviews and whose businesses are being seriously threatened by the spiralling rents.
The Lord Mayor stated that ‘it is important that we support the city traders who are experiencing difficulties with upward only rent reviews. It is imperative that we help keep the retailers in the city and keep the footfall high in the city. The city centre retailers are at the heart of the City and the City Council must act to protect the retail core of the City Centre.
The Lord Mayor added that ‘the footfall in the Grafton Street and Henry Street area has fallen by 30% from the peak figures in late 2007. There are currently 22 units vacant in the Grafton Street area, with at least 6 of these on Grafton Street itself. ’
All political parties on the City Council are agreed on the urgency of the situation. The Lord Mayor on behalf of the City Council (Councillors and management), the Retailers, the DCBA and Dublin BIDS are now requesting a meeting with the Landlords, in particular the Institutional Landlords to try to resolve this situation.
The Lord Mayor stated that ‘it is more important for Dublin that the shops stay open for business than to have vacant shops. We need to get a solution to this situation immediately before more people are added to the dole queues and adversely affecting Dublin’s economy.’
The Lord Mayor is calling on the Government to review the recent legislation that banned future upward only rent reviews to see if this legislation can be applied to existing leases.
The Lord Mayor stated ‘today we have started a process to help resolve this very difficult situation and I suggest that rent reviews should be linked to the Consumer Price Index as a means to resolve this situation’.