A national restaurant chain has provided the latest vote of confidence for the future of Waterford City with a pledge of 25 new jobs on a site currently in development on the Cork Road. The land, which will be known to many as the former home of Esso Service Station, is currently in the middle of a two phase build, the first of which is expected to be completed in the coming months.
Speaking to the Waterford News & Star, Gareth McCarthy of GMC Auctioneers confirmed that Ramen Asian Street Food, who already have eight stores open nationwide, will open their ninth in the development known as “The Vee” on the Cork Road in mid-May.
“It is hoped that they will employ 25 people right away,” Gareth said. “Ramen are a very strong brand in Ireland at the minute and they’re only getting stronger. It’s a significant vote of confidence for them to look at Waterford City right now.”
The Vee will be a mini-commercial park with another large unit – adjacent to where Ramen will be located – expected to be confirmed soon.
“We’re in advanced stages of talks with a large pharmacy chain and we hoped to have them signed in the coming weeks,” Gareth said. “There’s also going to be a second phase to this development which is currently at the design stage. This will be a two-storey development with retail units on the ground floor and office or clinic type units on the first floor, which we have already had significant interest in. This, coupled with the new Supermacs drive-thru, which is expected to open before Christmas, is a huge boost for Waterford in terms of jobs, number one, but also expanding our offering.”
Gareth said that the commercial market in Waterford is ‘strong’ at the moment.
“We have secured a number of tenants in 2018 and to date it would appear that 2019 will be every bit as good based on the ongoing deals and indeed the level of enquiries we are getting on a weekly basis,” he said. “We all know the city centre is struggling at the moment and it certainly would appear that shoppers are choosing to shop on the outskirts of town and choosing the online model as their preferred choice for fashion and clothing items. This is having a detrimental effect on retailers on the high street. I think access and car parking is a massive incentive for shoppers, if you take Waterford Shopping Centre in Lisduggan, which we are the appointed agents over, footfall is up week-on-week and we believe access and parking is the main reason for this increase in footfall.”