The opening of the new Ross Abbey Town Centre shopping complex in Ferrybank has been cast into further jeopardy, after National Irish Bank last week took control of the development.

The centre, which forms the commercial focal point for a major residential project incorporating about 1,000 homes and apartments in the Abbey Park area, was originally due to open earlier this year. Construction finished last year and there was great excitement in the surrounding area that the centre would offer a new and refreshing shopping alternative to residents. Included in the centre are 20 shops, with convenience franchise Eurospar signed up as the anchor tenant, as well as a medical centre and pharmacy, gym and other leisure amenities, takeaway, pizzeria, Chinese and Indian restaurants and a hairdresser.

However the Danish-owned NIB recently appointed receiver Tom Kavanagh, a partner with Dublin insolvency specialists Kavanagh Fennell, over Jaytar, the company behind the Ferrybank centre. The company, controlled by Galway-based Noel Burke Developments, is understood to have liabilities of around €26 million, according to its most recent accounts. Noel Burke Developments has been responsible for the construction of numerous hotels, shopping centres and housing projects and owns the Fitzwilton Hotel in Waterford.

National Irish Bank, which is owned by Danske Bank, took possession of the site after growing concerns about millions of euro it had advanced to Jaytar. The company moved on foot of a charge that was registered in 2006 against the company’s assets. The bank is believed to be assessing its options in an effort to recover as much of its money as possible.

Meanwhile work at the multi million euro Deerland Construction shopping complex, also in Ferrybank, remains on hold and there are doubts that its October opening deadline will be met. Rumours that anchor tenants Dunnes Stores had pulled out of the New Ross Road project because of the economic downturn have been discounted, though the retail chain has not yet commenced a fit-out of the store.

Constructed on a seven acre site, the development is almost twice the size of City Square. It is expected to create about 800 new jobs when up and running and up to 500 jobs have been created during construction.