11th October (Issue 368)

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.



Liberties, Dublin 8 German investor Patrizia has paid €60m for the Eight Building, a newly developed office and retail building at Newmarket Square in Dublin’s Liberties. The purchase brings the overall value of the fund’s Dublin portfolio to €830m in assets under management. Completed in 2021, the building which fronts on to Newmarket Square, has a total of 75,000 sq. ft. of grade-A office accommodation, along with several artists’ studios, and 6,500 sq. ft. of food market space. The Irish Times, 7th October

North Docklands, Dublin City Centre Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE), UK-headquartered private equity property manager Henderson Park, and Westridge Real Estate are the three parties left in the running to acquire Citigroup’s existing European headquarters. While the offices at 1 North Wall Quay were brought to the market by Knight Frank at a guide price of €120m last March, the selection of a preferred bidder is understood to have been delayed until the global banking giant had identified and secured a location for its new headquarters. That process is now close to being concluded following Citigroup’s recent decision to acquire a site for a reported €100m at RGRE’s Waterfront South Central scheme. Citi is expected to pay up to a further €200m to the Ronan Group to build out the 300,000 sq. ft. of office space it requires for its Dublin-based workforce. No. 1 North Wall Quay currently comprises a six-storey over-basement office building of c. 230,000 sq. ft. with 139 car-parking spaces. The Irish Times, 5th October

Mespil Road, Dublin 4 Knight Frank is seeking an occupier for the offices on the third and last remaining floor at no. 45 Mespil Road in Dublin 4. Located in a prime position overlooking the Grand Canal, no. 45 is a newly developed standalone building comprising 48,000 sq. ft. of grade-A office accommodation distributed across six floors. The ground floor is occupied by global financial services provider JTC while the first and second floors are occupied respectively by Amryt Pharma Plc and higher education technology specialist Ellucian. The fourth floor is tenanted by US-headquartered private investment firm, Bain Capital, while the fifth and sixth floors are occupied by publicly listed housebuilder Cairn Homes. All floors, apart from the ground floor, are understood to have been let on a minimum term-certain lease of 10 years with no break options with rents ranging from €57.50 to €60 per sq. ft. In the case of the third and final floor, the prospective occupier will have the use of c. 8,114 sq. ft. of office space along with two basement car-parking spaces and 15 bicycle spaces. The Irish Times, 5th October

Office Market Activity, Dublin The office market in Dublin recorded 815,000 sq. ft. of take-up in the third quarter of 2022, more than double the volume achieved in the same period last year based on new data from Savills Ireland. The latest figure was also 78% higher than the 10-year third quarter average. Occupiers continued to prefer city centre stock with 80% of total space taken in the city centre. All the top five deals were transacted in Dublin 1 and Dublin 2. The remaining 20% were signed in suburban properties and no take-up recorded in the fringe market. A&L Goodbody’s prelet of 155,000 sq. ft. at 25 North Wall Quay was the largest letting of the quarter. The firm also signed up for 63,000 sq. ft. in 3 Dublin Landings for decanting of its operations while the North Wall Quay redevelopment is ongoing. Professional services firms accounted for the largest share (33%) of total take-up among all sectors for the quarter, followed by technology firms. The quarter also highlighted occupiers’ preference for energy-efficient offices and high ESG ratings. The difference between old and new city centre stock has increased from €10 per sq. ft. to €15 sq. ft. in the past year. React News, 10th October



Aungier Street, Dublin 2 Developer Paddy McKillen jnr and Matt Ryan’s Oakmount are seeking a buyer for The Lucky Duck on Dublin’s Aungier Street. The property is being offered for sale by CBRE at a guide price of €2.5m. Having paid €831k to secure ownership of the former Aungier House premises, Oakmount engaged in an extensive refurbishment of the property in advance of its opening for business in late 2018. The Lucky Duck comprises a fully refurbished Victorian bar at ground-floor level, a cocktail bar and event space at first and second-floor levels, and a fully equipped catering kitchen on the third floor. The Irish Times, 5th October

Refugee Housing, Ireland As the conflict in Ukraine enters its eighth month, so does the Irish government’s scramble to source accommodation for 40,190 of more than 54,000 Ukrainians who have arrived here. A total of 10,713 asylum seekers from other countries who are in the direct provision system have also sought accommodation from the state over the past nine months. Newly released figures show that c. one in four hotel, guesthouse and B&B rooms have been booked by the Department of Children to house displaced people. A record 15,581 rooms in tourist accommodation are being used, which equates to 23% of the c. 68,000 hotel, guesthouse and B&B rooms registered with Failte Ireland. Officials said that as well as managing the current challenge of accommodating so many people, they were also working on solutions to shelter refugees from Ukraine and applicants for international protection in the future. The Irish Refugee Council (IRC) claims that a failure by successive governments to prioritise and resource the international protection system has contributed to the “enormous strain” now being experienced. The Sunday Times, 9th October



Oranmore, Co Galway TWM has brought to market an opportunity for an anchor grocery tenant to occupy a busy shopping centre in Oranmore in Co Galway, which is known as OranTown Centre. The property, together with the supermarket business, will be sold by way of a share purchase agreement and will be offered for sale by tender. The agent is guiding in excess of €2.2m for the property. The centre comprises over 20 retail units and 15 office suites. The anchor store extends to a total of 16,465 sq. ft. GIA and benefits from the additional occupiers in the centre, including Costa Coffee, An Post, Walsh’s Pharmacy, together with 238 car parking spaces. The property is held in part under a 9,999 year lease from January 1, 2000 extending to c. 9,576 sq. ft. while the remainder is held under two occupational leases subject to a total annual rent of €150k pa and a WAULT of 7.75 years. The Business Post, 8th October

St Patricks Street, Cork Upwards of five contenders are vying to buy the former Debenhams flagship store in Cork City centre, with the preferred bidder due for selection before the weekend. Names that have been suggested in connection with a shortlist of bidders include the Fraser Group, John Cleary Developments, O’Callaghan Properties and the O’Flynn Group. Clarendon Properties, who own the adjoining Merchants Quay shopping mall, may see it as an opportunity for a natural extension, although it’s understood they consider the €20m price tag to be too high. Bank of Ireland is due to select the preferred bidder on Friday following a process involving receivers Grant Thornton, who appointed estate agents Cushman & Wakefield to oversee the sale. The iconic 151,000 sq. ft. property, once home to Roches Stores, was put on the market in August with a guide price of €20m. The Irish Examiner, 6th October



Brownsbarn Drive, Dublin 24 Located in a high-profile position at 302 Brownsbarn Drive and overlooking the N7 (Naas Road), Universal Honda’s showroom is being offered to the market with the benefit of vacant possession by Knight Frank at a guide price of €4.5m or to rent at excess €300k annually. The subject property extends to a total area of 26,666 sq. ft. and a basement extending to 12,842 sq. ft. There are 62 on-site parking spaces comprising a mix of surface spaces and spaces at basement level. The property is zoned ‘Objective EE’, which provides for enterprise and employment-related uses. The Irish Times, 5th October

Airways Industrial Estate, North Dublin Irish Life has secured €14m from the sale of three industrial units at Airways Industrial Estate in north Dublin. Units 1, 2 and 3, which were forward funded by Irish Life more than 40 years ago, were offered to the market last March at a guide price of €11m. The units have been acquired by a private Irish investor. Units 1, 2 and 3 Airways Industrial Estate are fully let with 62% of the rental income coming from State agencies. The third unit is let to FedEx. The sale provides the new owner with annual rental income of €671.2k from April 2022, along with the added benefit of upwards-only rent reviews that promise a reversionary yield of c. 8.1%. Taken together, the three units extend to 127,000 sq. ft. that could accommodate an occupier with a growing team and a WAULT of c. 2.6 years. The Irish Times, 4th October

Santry, North Dublin Industrial property specialist Harvey has secured the pre-letting of a 46,000 sq. ft. warehouse unit in the long-established Airways Industrial Estate at Santry in north Dublin. Clinigen Ireland, one of the leading manufacturers of unlicensed medicines in Ireland, has agreed to occupy unit 12 at the scheme on a new long-term lease. The subject property comprises 45,984 sq. ft. including 6,663 sq. ft. of two-storey office accommodation. The Irish Times, 5th October

Churchtown Business Park, Dublin 14 Pan-European investor and asset manager M7 Real Estate has paid just over €7m (NIY 5.2%) for Churchtown Business Park in Dublin 14. The completion of the deal brings M7′s holdings in the Republic to 27 assets, extending to c. 1,282,260 sq. ft., primarily in industrial and logistics space. M7 will have the benefit of €408k in annual rental income from a strong tenant line-up that includes Senator Windows, Tipperary Crystal, Skön, Danish Kitchen Design, Avista Medical, and Webshirts Ltd, trading as Louis Copeland. Unit 21 is currently vacant and once it is let, the total rent is expected to increase to more than €500k a year. The leases at the scheme have between three and 10 years remaining to expiry. Located in south Dublin, Churchtown Business Park extends to 41,260 sq. ft. on a site of two acres, with unit sizes of 1,400 sq. ft.-2,500 sq. ft. with one unit of 7,645 sq. ft. The Irish Times, 5th October

Enfield, Co Meath Joint agents Knight Frank and Edward Carey Property have launched to the market an industrial development site in Enfield, Co Meath at a guide price of €2.25m. Extending to c. 15 acres, the site is ideally positioned 1.3km to the east of Enfield’s town centre. The entire site is zoned E1/E3 ‘Strategic Employment Zones (High Technology Uses)/ Warehousing & Distribution’ under the Meath County Development Plan 2021-2027. The Business Post, 8th October



Steevens’ Lane, Dublin 8 Having failed to attract a buyer when it was put up for sale at a guide price of €8m at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, a 0.6-acre site in Dublin 8 with scope for c. 110 apartments is being offered to the market once more at a reduced price of €5.25m. The subject property is located on the corner of Steevens’ Lane and James Street, and adjacent to the “Guinness Quarter”. The Steevens’ Lane site for its part is Zoned Z4 “District Centre” under the Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022, and this designation is proposed to be maintained in the upcoming plan. The Irish Times, 5th October

The build-to-rent-sector in Dublin has suffered a heavy blow as €400m worth of deals on two landmark apartment projects have unravelled in recent months. The German property behemoth Commerz Real has shelved a €200m investment in the Chartered Land Group’s 30-storey apartment building at Parkgate Street on the north side of the Liffey. Ruirside Developments, which is owned by Chartered Land Group, secured planning permission for the tower last year but construction has yet to start. Separately, Ires Reit has shied away from a potential €200m acquisition of Bain Capital’s 413 apartment scheme at Newmarket Square in Dublin 8. Bain is now expected to fund the completion of the scheme, retain it as an investment or seek a new buyer once investor sentiment recovers. The Sunday Times, 9th October

Social Housing, Dublin Estate agents and property investment funds have been advised that certain housing estates in north Dublin will not be considered for further social home leases due to the high concentration already found in the developments. Fingal County Council issued a document last year which said that 33 private estates were deemed to be “areas socially satisfied” due to the high number of state-supported tenancies in place, and so would not be considered for future social housing leases. Property investment funds spent c. €1bn buying second-hand homes in 2021, with many acquired with the intention of being leased to local authorities for use as social housing. The list of estates shared by Fingal County Council with agents in August 2021 include developments in Malahide, Portmarnock, Swords, Skerries, Santry and Kinsealy. The Business Post, 8th October

Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 Fingal County Council has given the go-ahead for a 348-unit apartment scheme as part of a mixed-use development in Blanchardstown. The scheme by the BNY Mellon-owned Blanche Retail Nominees Ltd includes six apartment blocks ranging up to 13 storeys in height on a site that is currently used for car parking beside Blanchardstown library. The scheme also includes five commercial units and community facilities, along with the extension of an existing multi-storey car park from four to six levels to facilitate the development. The original apartment scheme was made up of 44 studios, 132 one-bed apartments, 155 two-bed apartments and 21 three-bed apartments before the council ordered the omission of four units. The Irish Times, 6th October

House Prices, Ireland Irish house prices are overvalued by at least 7%, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has said. In its latest quarterly bulletin, the think tank warned the State’s property market was likely to experience a sharp slowdown in the coming months as wider inflationary pressures and higher interest rates weigh on demand. However, it stopped short of saying whether this would result in a house price correction or a period of falling prices, suggesting it was too early to tell. It found that prices were c. 7% above their expected trend values as of the end of last year. Unlike the pre-2008 period, when the overvaluation of property was driven by excess credit, this time around prices have been inflated by pandemic-related factors such as increased savings and curtailed supply combined with “the increasing share” of institutional investors in the market, it said. The rate of house price growth in the State fell to 13% in July, down from 14% in June, extending a pattern of deceleration seen in recent months, according to the CSO. The Irish Times, 6th October

Planning Approval, Ireland Planning approval for more than 1,400 new homes in south Dublin is set to be quashed after An Bord Pleanála conceded three court cases linked to the work of its former deputy chairman, Paul Hyde. The planning authority is no longer contesting judicial review cases that were taken against fast-track approval it gave for large apartment schemes in Killiney, Blackrock and Milltown. ABP’s move to concede the Killiney and Blackrock cases emerged in court on Monday but the planning authority had told case participants of its decisions last week. The participants in the Milltown action were also notified last week. The Killiney application was for 248 apartments and seven houses. The Blackrock application was for 493 apartments at Temple Hill, Monkstown. The Milltown application was for 671 build-to-rent apartments at Milltown Park, Sandford Road, Dublin 6. The Irish Times, 11th October

Social Housing, Dublin A Dublin City Council plan to partner with developers to build public housing on sites with unused planning permission only received one application from a developer, which council officials said was “disappointing”. Earlier this year the council sought developers who had land with planning permission to build housing and to develop sites for affordable or social housing. The council received an initial 44 expressions of interest for the scheme where the council would partner with developers or small builders, but in the end only one application was received, the council said. The Irish Times, 11th October



Grand Canal Docks, Dublin 2 Located directly underneath the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, the Grand Canal Square Car Park is being offered to the market by Colliers at a guide price of €18m. While Crownway Investments may well be interested in securing control of the facility given their existing ownership of the theatre, the combination of the car park’s forecasted net income of €900k for 2023 and Dublin City Council’s restrictions on future car parking provision in the city’s south docklands should see strong competition from a number of parties. Built in 2009 as part of Chartered Land’s wider development of the Grand Canal Dock area, it extends to c. 107,639 sq. ft. and features fully automated barriers, payment machines and floor-to-ceiling heights of 2 metres. The car park, which operates on 24/7 basis, comprises 161 marked car-parking spaces and is currently operated by Q-Park by way of a management agreement. The Irish Times, 5th October

Planning System Delays Irish Water’s “minor projects” will take twice as long to complete due to planning system delays, according to the semi-state’s chief executive, Niall Gleeson. “We’re saying five to seven years even on relatively minor projects for delivery. We should be saying two to three years,” he said. The organisation has been criticised by commercial and residential property developers for causing delays to projects due to its inability to deliver connections in a timely manner. In August, the group behind the project to develop the Glass Bottle site in Dublin, which includes Ronan Group and Lioncor, the US developer, said the delivery of thousands of homes on the site, including most of the 3,800 apartments, are at risk due to undefined timelines for water infrastructure. The Business Post, 8th October

Housing Crisis, Ireland The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) asked if it could be used to help with the housing crisis to avoid losing the “valuable expertise and experience” it had built up during its years of operation. The State bad bank, which is in the process of being wound down, said it could play an important role in dealing with the country’s “housing problem”. Much of its “expertise and delivery know-how” was going to depart Nama over the next two or three years it warned, according to a briefing paper prepared for the Department of Finance. The paper said that Nama had experience in helping deliver the process from undeveloped land to sale of built homes in the space of 36 months. It added it had extensive know-how in resolving legal and title issues that could slow development of land, as well as getting through the planning process. Most new homes it was involved with – c. 80% – had been sold to individual buyers or to approved housing bodies and local authorities. The Irish Times, 9th October


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