10th December (Issue 226)

Welcome to the Origin Capital Weekly Irish Property Review. This update is designed to provide you with a full recap of the latest property news from the media over the last seven days.



Stillorgan, County Dublin Kennedy Wilson has secured planning permission from An Bord Pleanála for the construction of 232 luxury apartments in blocks of up to eight storeys on the site of the Leisureplex bowling alley in Stillorgan. The developer had sought to build as high as nine storeys on the site in its initial pre-planning submission to the board last February. That proposal was rejected, however, with the planners suggesting that it required “further consideration and amendment” along with other issues before a fast-track application could be submitted. In addition to the residential element of the Leisureplex scheme, Kennedy Wilson intends to deliver four restaurants and cafes, and two retail units on the site. The proposals for the apartments include a concierge service, cinema, gym, along with a residents’ lounge, co-working space, dining area, communal kitchen and rooftop terrace. The Irish Times, 5th December

Hill Street, Dublin 1 Dublin City Council has approved the first large-scale co-living complex in central Dublin, a 129-bed complex on Hill Street near Mountjoy Square. The developers, MM Capital, originally applied to build 132 units on the site, but this was revised downwards by planners. The majority of bedrooms in the block will be 204 sq.ft, but nearly a quarter will be 172 sq.ft. in size. State guidelines require shared living units to be at least 129 sq.ft. The developers have confirmed that the Hill Street property would be managed under the SQRE Living brand. SQRE Living is currently managing and developing more than 3,000 co-living units in the US and Britain, with further expansion planned in mainland Europe. The Sunday Business Post, 8th December

Dundrum Town Centre An Bord Pleanála has approved an application by Dundrum Town Centre part owner Hammerson for 107 new apartments on a site above the red car park which will ultimately be offered to the rental market. The development will deliver 50 one-bedroom and 56 two-bedroom apartments which will be managed on a long-term rental basis. The scheme will also include amenities such as a co-working space at ground-floor level, a gym, cinema room, lounge and terrace at the upper levels. The scheme represents Hammerson’s first move into residential development in the Republic. It is understood that the estimated cost of the apartments will be c.€28 million to build. On completion, they will have a gross capital value of c.€64 million. The Irish Times, 6th December

A consortium led by UK property developers is beginning work this month on 465 social housing units. The Torc Partnership said it expected to finish all units in Clare, Galway, Kildare, Roscommon, Waterford and Cork by mid-2021, as part of the Government’s private-public partnership (PPP) plan for 1,500 new units nationwide. Torc is led by two London-based property investment firms, Equitix and Kajima Partnerships, which will hold majority stakes in the properties for 25 years, before transferring ownership to the local authorities. Construction will involve a joint venture between Irish contractor JJ Rhatigan & Co and Obrascon Huarte Lain (OHL) of Spain, a firm active across Europe and the Americas. The Irish Independent, 10th December



Tara Street, Dublin 2 Marlet Property Group has secured planning permission from Dublin City Council to increase the height of the 11-storey office block it is delivering on the site of the former Apollo House to 21 storeys. The approval of Marlet’s application clears the way for the company to add a 10-storey tower comprising 54 build-to-rent apartments to the top of the office scheme for which it had received permission previously. The apartments will comprise 45 one-bedroom and nine two-bedroom units, and will be complemented by 2,237 sq.ft. of internal communal amenity space, as well as external terrace areas. The combined height of the amended College Square development will rise to 262 ft above street level. The Irish Times, 5th December



Coonan Property sold a 188 acre farm in Ashbourne, Co. Meath for c.€5 million (€26,595 per acre). The 188 acres represent an ideal investment/development opportunity due to its proximity to local amenities. The lands are located 1km from Ashbourne Main Street, 20km from Dublin City Centre and just a 10 minute drive from Dublin Airport. The lands were offered in one lot and c.15 acres of the lands are zoned for amenity use in the county Meath Development Plan which is currently being reviewed. Ashbourne is Meath’s second biggest town with a population of 14,000. Coonan Property Group Report, 5th December



Grand Canal Street, Dublin 2 The Irish Times understands that Google is closing in on the purchase of the 125,066 sq.ft. Treasury Building on Dublin’s Grand Canal Street for c.€120 million (€959 psf). The building had until recently been the headquarters for the NTMA and NAMA. Google’s purchase of the Grand Canal Street property will provide it with the capacity to increase its existing 8,000-strong Dublin-based workforce by up to 1,200. Google is also in negotiations in relation to the rental of all 202,000 sq.ft. of space at the Sorting Office, the seven-storey office block being developed in the Dublin docklands by Marlet Property Group. The Irish Times, 4th December

Dublin Office Market The Dublin office market performed strong in 2019, boosted by several sizeable transactions, both in the city centre and suburbs of the city. A report in the Irish Times highlights that there was an increase in demand from business services, financial services and the public sector during the last 12 months, however, the technology sector continued to dominate with many of the country’s largest technology firms significantly increasing their footprint during 2019. A total of 2.075 million sq.ft of transactions were signed in the Dublin market in the first three-quarters of the year. The Irish Times, 4th December

Shelbourne House, Ballsbridge Quanta Capital has paid c.€40 million in an off-market deal for the landmark Shelbourne House in Ballsbridge. Located on a 0.7 acre site on Shelbourne Road between the Number One Ballsbridge office scheme and the Lansdowne Place apartment development, Shelbourne House currently comprises a seven-storey office and apartment building extending to a total area of 76,079 sq.ft (€525 psf). Although the majority of the offices are let to tenants, including the Malaysian embassy, An Post and the OPW, there is significant development potential for the site. A planning application, which was rejected, was submitted in 2018 in which permission was sought to demolish the building and replace it with a 113,742 sq.ft. structure. The Irish Times, 5th December



Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre The Irish Times understands that a fund managed by Davy Real Estate has paid c.€175 million for the 320,000 sq.ft. (€546 psf) Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre in Dublin. The completion of the transaction in recent days gives the Davy investors full control of the shopping centre, following a period of nearly 13 years in which it had been owned jointly by several shareholders. While the combined 62.4% stake was offered for sale quietly in a targeted process by HWBC in June, it is understood Irish Life had, until recently, intended to retain its 37.6% interest in the centre. The Centre has more than 90 shops over three levels and is currently producing rental income of c.€8 million. The Irish Times, 7th December



Cork Investment Market The Sunday Business Post reports that Cork’s investment market has been particularly strong for the past three years, with turnover averaging €250 million per annum and it is predicted to be slightly ahead of this level again in 2019. In the office sector, there is over 710,000 sq.ft. of accommodation being developed with more than 1.45 million sq.ft. with planning. A Build-to-rent planning application has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála for a 24-storey, 201-unit tower at Albert Quay; and on the South Link Road planning permission has been granted for a 17-storey development with 118 apartments. While it‘s not a BTR application, at Horgan’s Quay planning has just been granted for 302 units. The Sunday Business Post, 8th December

An Ulster Bank survey has highlighted that activity in the housebuilding industry contracted in November for the first time since 2013, the year home prices reached a low point following the property crash. Ulster Bank’s latest purchasing managers’ index (PMI) shows that the reading for housing fell to 47.7 in November from 51.3 in October. The wider construction PMI result rose to 48.2 from 46.2 as activity in the commercial sector picked up. A reading below 50 signals a slowdown in a sector. The Construction Industry Federation estimates that house and apartment completions will increase this year to 23,000 from 18,072 in 2018. While completions are forecast to rise to 28,500 in 2020, well off a low of 4,575 seen in 2013, economists estimate that there is demand for c.35,000 new homes a year over the medium term. The Irish Times, 9th December

The Sunday Business Post reports that the Irish commercial property market looks on course to achieve record or near-record levels of deals this year, despite enduring some recent knocks from public authorities. Investment deals in the million-euro-plus price bracket across commercial property look set to achieve €3.5 billion. Sales of major PRS assets are expected to generate €1.5 billion. Development land deals are forecast to top €1 billion, while hotel sales could reach €600 million. The Sunday Business Post, 8th December

Build-to-rent company Urbeo Residential said it has invested more than €400 million on nine deals in its first year in operation, which will deliver a portfolio of 1,300 rental units. The company’s fund, which is 75% owned by US investment firm Starwood Capital and has the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) as a minority backer, is understood to have committed €220 million to six previously-undisclosed deals in locations including Dublin’s city centre and the suburbs of Finglas and Citywest. They are in addition to €180 million that was spent on three schemes – in Tallaght, Citywest and Maynooth, Co Kildare – that had previously been announced. Most of the schemes are under construction. The Irish Times understands that it is the intention of Urbeo to build a €1 billion portfolio of build-to-rent assets, growing their portfolio to 1,900 units. The Irish Times, 10th December


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