The former Denny’s site in Portadown has been bought by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council for an undisclosed sum, believed to be in the region of £480,000.
The announcement was made on Wednesday and has been widely welcomed.
The council plans to regenerate the 6.15 acre site which it bought from the Kerry Group, and is located between the Northway and Obins Street.
A council spokesperson said the next step will be to “engage and explore with stakeholders appropriate uses for the future redevelopment of this site”.
She added, “Council has previously secured major investment with a number of environmental improvement schemes and the redevelopment of the nearby People’s Park site and it recognises the need to continue to invest in its communities across the borough, to make them inclusive and sustainable.”
Lord Mayor, Alderman Gareth Wilson said the redevelopment of the “strategically located site” will see a significant investment in the area.
Chair of economic development and regeneration Councillor Joe Nelson said, “The acquisition and development of this site will help build the economic prosperity of the area while also supporting the council’s social and environmental responsibilities.”
Alderman Arnold Hatch and fellow Portadown UUP councillor Julie Flaherty have welcomed the news.
“This site opens up other development opportunities as it is strategically positioned between Obins Street and Northway, bounded by Corcrain Road and adjacent to Montague Street, “ said Alderman Hatch.
“This is great news for the town and it will make the ‘Hub of the North’ even more convenient for visitors and commuters from both the north and south of Ireland.”
Councillor Flaherty said, “I am hoping these investments will encourage the Department for Infrastructure to look again at opening up Obins Street to Woodhouse Street, raising the road at Northway and thereby opening up that terrible tunnel which has kept communities apart for decades.”
It is anticipated that the development will complement the £3 million Translink park and ride facility planned for an adjacent site.
The project at the Bodega Junction site will have 347 car parking spaces.