13th September (Issue 364)

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.



Swords, Co Dublin The Swords Business Campus scheme, which sits on a site of 19 acres, is being offered to the market by TWM at a guide price of €50m. The office buildings on the campus extend to a gross area of 297,000 sq. ft. and the scheme is home to numerous companies and public bodies including CityJet, the CSO, the HSE and Convergys. The offices at Swords Business Campus currently produce total passing income of €3.2m, representing a NIY of 5.81% with a future reversionary yield of 8.3% based on leasing vacant units only. 42% of the current rental income is accounted for by State bodies (the CSO and HSE), while 21% of the income is derived from the healthcare and life sciences sectors. There are 804 surface car-parking spaces with planning permission for an additional 48 spaces. The Irish Times, 7th September
For lending terms on this asset please contact rossmetcalfe@origincapital.ie

Barrow Street, Dublin 4 Flexible workspace provider Glandore has selected the Bottleworks on Dublin’s Barrow Street as its latest location in the capital. Located on the site of a former glass factory in the Silicon Docks area, the property comprises 26,199 sq. ft. of fully serviced working spaces and meeting rooms arranged across five floors, a large bike storage room, showers, a wellness suite, leisure space, a cafe and external courtyards. Glandore has agreed a 20-year lease on the property. The Irish Times, 7th September

Prime Office Rents, Dublin Technology companies’ demand for Dublin offices is waning, but a new report shows finance and professional services are poised to plug any gaps that emerge. Rents for prime city centre space in the capital climbed 9% to “as high as €62.50 per sq. ft.” in the first six months of the year, according to HWBC’s Dublin Office Review for the first half of 2022. By the end of June, businesses had agreed to rent 945,000 sq. ft. of space in the capital, with a further 1,000,000 sq. ft. reserved and in various stages of “deal completion”. Despite growing future demand, the overall vacancy rate ticked up slightly to 10.6% as employers got to grips with “hybrid working”. The Irish Times, 7th September



Drogheda, Co Louth Hallscotch Ventures is offering Scotch Hall to the market through Colliers at a guide price of €21m (NIY 10.41%). The sale itself comprises 170,000 sq. ft. of retail space together with the adjoining multi-storey car parks which provide 631 car-parking spaces. The sale also comprises an incomplete block with an expired planning consent and a former distillery building. Scotch Hall Shopping Centre is anchored by an owner occupied Dunnes Stores. The centre is currently producing €2.29m in annual rental income with a WAULT of just over five years and has current average weekly footfall of 42k. The sale also includes potential development opportunities on the 3.3-acre site adjacent to the shopping centre. This land has planning permission for 275 apartments, together with additional retail accommodation and a creche. Separately, an office block located along Marsh Road has the benefit of full planning permission for 21 apartments. The Irish Times, 7th September

Bank of Ireland Branch Portfolio, Ireland French Investor Iroko ZEN has made its second investment in Ireland, paying €8.49m for a portfolio of five buildings let and occupied as branch premises by BOI. The properties are located in Enniscorthy, Longford, Mallow, Roscrea and Loughrea respectively and are generating total annual rental income of €798k. The purchase price provides Iroko ZEN with a NIY of 8.5%. The sale of the portfolio was brokered by BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland on behalf of joint vendors Signal Capital Partners and Ardú Capital. The portfolio included six assets in total let to The Governor & Company of the BOI and fully occupied on 25-year FRI leases expiring in 2032. Iroko ZEN acquired five of the assets while a private Irish investor purchased a single investment comprising the BOI branch building at Emily Square in Athy, Co Kildare. The Irish Times, 7th September

Grafton Street, Dublin 2 The British fashion retailer Mulberry is opening a standalone store off Grafton Street in Dublin. The company, which is best known for its pricey handbags and accessories, has signed a lease on 24 Duke Street in the capital. The three-storey building has been let to Dr Martens since 2017 but the footwear company is relocating to 83 Grafton Street. It will be Mulberry’s first standalone shop in the capital, though it has a concession at Brown Thomas and a unit at Kildare Village. The Sunday Times, 11th September

Tralee, Co Kerry Agent McQuinn Consulting is selling the Phoenix Building, two-thirds occupied, with c. €100k pa in income from two tenants, Coffee Start on a 15-year lease from 2022 at €38k pa, and CEX on a 10-year lease from 2014 paying €60k pa. There is also a three-storey unit, the largest of the trio, vacated by Elverys, totalling 4,500 sq. ft. and with 1,290 sq. ft. at ground. It is available currently to let, quoting €60k pa. Totalling over 7,000 sq. ft., the property is set on The Mall in the town centre. The Irish Examiner, 8th September



Temple Bar, Dublin 2 The owners of the seafood restaurant Fish Shack have acquired the Bad Ass Cafe in Dublin’s Temple Bar Dublin 2. Situated on the corner of Temple Bar Square and Crown Alley, the property’s leasehold interest was offered for sale by CBRE last December at a guide price of €1.3m on behalf of Benqueues Limited. According to market sources, the cafe’s new owners are understood to have paid c. €2m to secure ownership of the premises. The Irish Times, 7th September

Merrion Hotel, Dublin The five-star Merrion Hotel reported a €649.7k loss in 2021, according to accounts filed with the CRO. Revenues fell to €9.9m in the period, which ended October 31, 2021 – a significant drop on the €17.5m in 2020. The firm earned revenues of €25.6m in 2019 and €44m in 2018. The dramatic decline in turnover was partly explained by the fact that in 2020, Hotel Merrion made €6.3m in apartment sales at the city centre site. Revenues from accommodation fell further in 2021, with accounts showing it has plummeted from €15.8m in 2019 to €4.5m last year. The company made €4.4m in food and beverage sales, with the remainder of its turnover coming from rental income and its leisure centre. At the end of the year, Hotel Merrion was left with accumulated losses of €10.7m, a slightly worse position than at the end of 2020. The business was sitting on a cash pile of €2.2m, a fall on the €2.6m cash reserves it held the previous year. The Business Post, 9th September

Howth, Co Dublin The local Church of Ireland in Howth, Co Dublin, is one of a number of parties to lodge objections against plans for a new 142-bedroom “destination” hotel for the area. In July, Tetrarch Capital lodged plans for the new hotel on the site of the former Deer Park hotel in Howth. Tetrarch already owns the Citywest Hotel in Dublin. The hotel plan includes a rooftop restaurant, bar and terrace, a spa, fitness centre and swimming pool. The existing Deer Park building would be demolished and replaced by the new four-storey hotel. The Irish Times, 7th September

Cobh, Co Cork A bar and restaurant in Cobh is up for sale with a guide price of €5m. The recently extended, newly-refurbished The Quays has the unique advantage of a private commercial pontoon and outdoor seating, built out over the harbour, following an ambitious extension and refurbishment project in 2019, which the owner said cost c. €1m. The property, at 17 Westbourne Place, includes a bar and indoor restaurant, an adjoining canopied seating area with retractable roof and walls, an outdoor seating area and BBQ facilities right over the harbour. The entire property is across 0.02 acres, while the indoor restaurant/bar extends to 1,162 sq. ft. The property was initially bought for €800k 18 years ago. The Irish Examiner, 8th September

Emergency Homeless Acommodation, Ireland Dublin city council has paid one hotel group more than €34m in four years for emergency homeless accommodation. Dalata Hotel Group, Ireland’s largest hotel operator, which owns the Clayton and Maldron hotels, was paid c. €34.5m between 2018 to last year, peaking in 2019 at €12.9m. Homeless accommodation cost the government €270.9m in 2020. Dublin city council said that commercial hotels were “a last resort” and were used only to address shortages in emergency accommodation. Emergency accommodation has been required to meet housing needs partly due to the slow pace of social housing construction. In 2020, 6,387 new social homes were either built or acquired — 34% short of the 8,536 target set by the Department of Housing. The overall target for 2020 was to provide 27,517 “social housing solutions”. Instead, 24,625 were provided, 11% shy of the target. The Sunday Times, 11th September



Swords, Co Dublin M7 Real Estate has purchased Swords Enterprise Park in north Dublin. According to market sources, the price paid is understood to have been slightly less than the €11.5m which had been sought for the scheme when it was offered to the market in November last year by Harvey. M7′s Irish subsidiary M7 Ireland has secured ownership of the 79,000 sq. ft. scheme comprising 61 industrial/office units arranged over eight blocks. At the time of being offered to the market, the occupancy level at Swords Enterprise Park stood at 93% with rents coming in below market levels. Rental income from the asset was sitting at c. €916.5k pa (NIY 8.13%) when it went sale agreed in February. The Irish Times, 7th September

Mountpark Baldonnel Scheme, Dublin 22 Industrial and logistics property development specialists Mountpark has begun construction on the final phase of its Mountpark Baldonnel scheme. The development will provide an additional 169,576 sq. ft. of warehouse and logistics accommodation to the Dublin market. Scheduled for completion in April 2023, units F and G will extend to 72,646 sq. ft. and 96,930 sq. ft. respectively. The development of the units represents a further €47m investment by Mountpark and brings its overall investment in Baldonnel to more than €300m. The Dublin 22 scheme will extend to 1,386,189 sq. ft. across seven units once units F and G are delivered. The largest of these measures 654,000 sq. ft. and was pre-let prior to its construction to online retail giant Amazon for use as its new e-fulfilment centre. The Irish Times, 7th September

Quantum Logistics Park, North Dublin Irish property group IPUT Real Estate has secured a significant coup with global logistics operator Maersk by signing for a total of 252,000 sq. ft. of space at its latest logistics scheme in Dublin. The completion of this deal brings all 549,524 sq. ft. at the north Dublin scheme to full occupancy in advance of its ultimate completion in the second quarter of 2023. In the case of Maersk’s facility in unit 4, IPUT is set to deliver Ireland’s first net-zero carbon logistics building. The Irish Times, 12th September

Greenhills Road, South Dublin Joint agents Colliers and Cushman & Wakefield are guiding a price of €7.5m for the showroom facility of one of Dublin’s main Fiat car dealerships. Located on a corner site on Greenhills Road in Tallaght, the Agnelli Motor Park premises and its site offer the purchaser an opportunity to secure a ready-to-go showroom facility with future potential for redevelopment. The site is zoned “Regen” under the South Dublin County Development Plan which should allow for a residential development in principle. The Greenhills Road property comprises three buildings extending to a total area of 47,143 sq. ft. on a 2.25-acre site. The main car showroom area measures 27,674 sq. ft. There are two separate vacant warehouse areas on the northern elevation of the property. Warehouse one extends to 4,504 sq. ft., while warehouse two extends to 15,227 sq. ft. The Irish Times, 7th September



Cork Street, Dublin 8 Owen Reilly has brought a prime investment opportunity to market for sale in the guise of Saoirse House, a block of five brand new apartments and a ground floor commercial unit on 82/83 Cork Street in Dublin 8. The agent is guiding €2.2m for the entire. However, there is an option to buy the apartments only. The A3-rated scheme comprises two one-bedroom apartments at just under 645 sq. ft. each, a two-bedroom duplex of 780 sq. ft., a three-bedroom apartment offering 1,104 sq. ft., and a two-bedroom penthouse spanning 946 sq. ft. The gross internal floor area of the apartments is 4,122 sq. ft. The agent believes the scheme could generate a rent of €136.2k pa. The commercial unit, which extends to 1,033 sq. ft., has been let on a new 15-year lease at €20k pa. The Business Post, 9th September

Cairn Homes Half-Year Performance Cairn Homes has reported an operating profit of €36m for the first six months of this year, its strongest ever half-year performance. The company reported revenues of €240.4m, up 84% YoY, according to its interim results published last week. During the six-month period to the end of June, Cairn said it closed the sale of 547 new homes. Cairn said it achieved a 21.5% gross margin in the first half of this year, and it expects to maintain that level for the full year having absorbed expected total build cost inflation for this financial year of 7 – 8% (€17.5k – €20k per unit) across infrastructure, labour and building materials. Despite the sharp rise in build-cost inflation, the company said it has maintained its average starter home sales price at €330k, up slightly from €327k in the first half of 2021. The Business Post, 8th September

Naas, Co Kildare The developer DRES Properties is close to signing a €70m deal to buy the landmark Mercedes-Benz site on Naas Road in Dublin, which is owned by the O’Flaherty family. Property sources say if the deal for the 15-acre site goes ahead, c. 2,000 homes could be built in an €800m development. It is thought that Sisk Group, the largest construction company in Ireland, is also involved in the purchase of the land. While the property does not have planning permission for residential homes, a submission on behalf of Motor Distributors to Dublin City Council earlier this year asked the local authority to relax height restrictions on the site. The Sunday Times, 11th September

BNP Paribas Report, Ireland According to the latest BNP Paribas report, c. 28,000 new homes are expected to be built in the Republic this year. This would be the highest level of housing output seen in Ireland since before the financial crash and more than a third up on last year’s total of 20,433 units. The latest BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland Construction PMI, however, warned that the positive trend in housing output needed to continue to cover “the sharp re-acceleration in population growth”. The bank’s latest barometer indicated that activity in the Irish housing sector declined for a third straight month in August as new orders fell sharply and inflationary pressures remained pronounced. Still, the decline in overall activity “was less marked than in July” with the seasonally adjusted total activity index rising to 46.9 from 41.8 previous month. A reading below 50 signals a contraction in activity. The Irish Times, 12th September

Blackrock, Co Dublin Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has recommended that contentious plans for a new €50m build-to-rent ‘senior living’ apartment scheme for Blackrock, Co Dublin be refused planning permission. In July, Tetrarch Residential — part of the group that owns the Citywest Hotel — lodged fast-track plans with An Bord Pleanála for a new 108-unit build-to-rent seven-storey apartment scheme on lands overlooking Blackrock RFC on Stradbrook Road in south Dublin. The site was sold by the club last year. However, the appeals board has received 80 third-party submissions on the scheme, with the vast bulk of these objections from locals to the scheme. The Irish Times, 9th September

Property Service Providers, Ireland The number of complaints made against property service providers increased by more than a third last year, according to a new report. On Friday, the Property Services Regulatory Authority, which supervises and regulates auctioneers, estate agents, letting agents and management agents, published its 2021 annual report. According to the report, 255 complaints were received by the authority last year, an increase of 36.36% on the 187 lodged in 2020. The Irish Times, 9th September

Planning Permission Statistics, Ireland Planning permission was granted for 11,374 new homes in the second quarter of this year, 2% up on the same period last year, suggesting the pick-up in residential construction is continuing despite the price squeeze. Of the total, 39.8% (4,532) were for houses and 60.2% (6,842) were for apartments. The number of houses granted planning permission grew by c. 17% on an annual basis to 4,532 units, while in contrast, there was a decline of c. 6% in apartment approvals to 6,842 units. Dublin accounted for the majority of apartment planning permission approvals with 69.5% of the total. During the same period, the Border region (Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Monaghan and Cavan) recorded the lowest number of apartments granted planning permission at 26. The figures show there was an annual rise of more than 28% in the number of multi-development houses receiving planning permission, compared with a 3% increase in one-off houses. The Irish Times, 9th September

Killarney, Co Kerry Plans for a major housing development in Killarney, Co Kerry have been blocked. An Bord Pleanála has turned down proposals to build 228 residential units (76 houses and 152 apartments) on lands at the Port Road and St Margaret’s Road in Killarney. Portal Asset Holdings Limited had lodged the plans directly to the board under the fast-track planning process. The Irish Examiner, 7th September

Housebuilding Rate, Ireland The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) said in a pre-budget submission that new housing supply will need to increase by 8% every year until 2030 if the Government’s previously announced ‘Housing for All’ targets are to be met. That would see the number of houses built each year rise from the estimated 24,500 that will be built this year to 45,000 units pa by the end of the decade. The ‘Housing for All’ target was 33,000 units a year. The survey found that the key reasons landlords were exiting the market were that rental legislation was too complex and restrictive. The emergence of landlords from negative equity and low net rental returns were also pushing them to sell up. It is estimated that 20,000 landlords have exited the market since 2016. This could mean 40,000 rental properties taken off the market. By contrast, research by the Residential Tenancies Board indicated that large landlords with more than 100 tenancies were planning to expand their portfolios. The Irish Independent, 11th September


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