14th February (Issue 384)

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.



East Wall Road, Dublin 1 South Korean-headquartered Kookmin Bank has instructed CBRE to ready Meta’s offices on Dublin’s East Wall Road for sale. The bank is understood to be looking to bring the Beckett Building as it is known to the market at a guide price of €80m (NIY 7%), or c. €21m less than the €101m it paid for the Dublin docklands property in 2018. Meta occupies the building on a 15-year lease at an annual rent of €4.53m pa. The rent works out at €23.50 per sq. ft, which is substantially less than the prevailing rate in the city’s docklands and central business district. The lease is due to expire in 2032 with a break option in 2027. The proposed sale of the Beckett Building comes as Meta prepares to vacate its current 250,000 sq. ft European headquarters at 4-5 Grand Canal Square four years before its agreed 2027 break date with a view to moving its employees to its new international headquarters in Ballsbridge. The Irish Times, 8th February

Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 Iput is looking to dispose of 73-83 Lower Mount Street. The office property, which extends to 60,207 sq. ft, comes for sale fully let to the OPW at a guide price of €37.5m (NIY 5.75%). The sale of the property offers the prospective purchaser the guarantee of 100% government income for over five years to break and 8.5 years to lease expiry. Currently the property, which has two separate entrances, is split by way of Timberlay and Ballaugh House. The offices are arranged over lower-ground and four upper floors, extending to a total NIA of 60,207 sq. ft, and are fully let to the OPW on FRI leases. Existing tenants include the Revenue Commissioners. Iput secured planning permission from An Bord Pleanála in 2021 for the demolition and redevelopment of the property to incorporate a state-of-the-art five-storey over-basement office building extending to 117,177 sq. ft (GIA). The Irish Times, 8th February
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Swords Business Campus, North Dublin The HSE has expanded its footprint at Swords Business Campus in north Dublin with an agreement to lease a new 3,600 sq. ft office for a Community Healthcare Network. The letting of unit 2 follows the HSE’s opening of a Central Remedial Clinic, extending to 10,000 sq. ft, at the scheme in 2021. The HSE already occupies unit 8, which is 24,000 sq. ft. The scheme is also home to a number of industry-leading companies and public bodies including CityJet, the CSO and Convergys, all of which have been long-term occupiers. Joint agents TWM and JLL have additional space to let in Swords Business Campus with warehouse and office units available from 10,000 sq. ft upwards. Additional office units are available from €18 per sq. ft and €800 per car space annually. The Irish Times, 8th February

Sandyford, Dublin 18 Joint agents CBRE and QRE Real Estate Advisers are quoting a rent of €25 per sq. ft for a fully fitted and refurbished office on Arena Road at the Sandyford Business District in south Dublin. Trigon House comprises 18,512 sq. ft of office space over four floors. The letting agents are offering Trigon House to the market by way of a flexible lease. The Irish Times, 8th February

City Centre, Limerick Cushman & Wakefield has brought fully fitted offices at the Gardens International office campus in Limerick to the market to let with immediate availability. Gardens International already has a strong line of tenants including NAC, Transact and Pegasus. The accommodation currently available in Gardens International is situated on the third, fourth and fifth floors and totals c. 28,783 sq. ft. The Business Post, 10th February



Drogheda, Co Louth The Omniplex cinema group has completed its acquisition of Scotch Hall Shopping Centre in Drogheda, Co Louth, for c. €21m. The subject property was guiding €21m when it was initially brought to market by Colliers. The sale comprises 170,000 sq. ft of retail space, a partially constructed five-screen cinema, and the adjoining multistorey car parks with 629 spaces. The deal also comprises an incomplete block with an expired planning consent, which offers further scope for development. Also included within the centre is a former distillery building that could lend itself to a number of uses, and an adjoining 3.31-acre development opportunity with planning permission for 275 apartments (subject to judicial review). The Irish Times, 8th February



Kilkenny Paddy McKillen Jr and Matt Ryan of the Press Up hospitality group are planning a €40m hotel on a landmark site in Kilkenny city. The company has signed a development agreement with CIE, the public transport body, for a 0.8-acre site beside MacDonagh train station. The 99-bedroom hotel, if granted permission by Kilkenny County Council, would have seven storeys and an outdoor swimming pool. The Sunday Times, 12th February

Ormond Quay Lower, North Dublin Leumi has agreed to provide €42.55m for the refinancing of Morrison Hotel in the centre of Dublin. The specialist hotel lender signed off on the five-year term loan facility along with Zetland Capital’s special purpose vehicle Centauro Investment XI SARL. React News, 13th February



North City Business Park, Dublin 11 Industrial property specialists Harvey have secured electrical and mechanical contractors CJK as tenants for Unit C2 at North City Business Park, Dublin 11. The deal was agreed with the assistance of joint agent JLL and comes more than two years after Harvey handled the sale of the subject property to pan European investor, M7 Real Estate. As part of that transaction a two-year leaseback was agreed with the previous owner just weeks into the first Covid-19 lockdown. Unit C2 briefly comprises a modern, semidetached, high-bay unit extending to a total gross external area of 12,047 sq. ft. CJK have acquired the building on a long-term let as their new headquarters. The Irish Times, 8th February



Glasthule, South Co Dublin No. 1-3 Glasthule Road in Glasthule is being sold by private treaty with a guide price in excess of €2.75m by Quinn Agnew. The subject property is located opposite the church and is situated between Eden Park and Cowshed car park. It comprises eight units extending to c. 5,608 sq. ft, including three retail units, a café/restaurant, two apartments, a large workshop and ancillary storerooms. The majority of the building is vacant, while 2A Glasthule Road is let under a lease expiring in November 2024. The Business Post, 10th February

Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 Some of the country’s best known retail brands have appealed against Fingal County Council granting planning permission to contentious €450m plans for a 971 unit apartment scheme for the Blanchardstown Town Centre site. The council granted planning permission last month to Goldman Sachs, which owns the shopping centre, for the mixed-use scheme comprising seven apartment blocks. One of the blocks is set to be 16 stories tall. The Irish Times, 13th February

City Centre, Limerick The Government has allocated €80m from the country’s strategic investment fund to kickstart construction on the first section of the Opera centre – the €300m project designed to transform Limerick city centre. The site will include a major office development, retail space, apartment living space, a new city centre library and an open public realm space. It will occupy more than three acres of city centre space across Ellen Street, Patrick Street and Michael Street. The project is being led by Limerick Twenty Thirty, a company established to develop strategic sites in Limerick city and county, which will draw enterprise and investment. The timeline for completion of this phase of the project is January 2025. RTÉ, 13th February



Drogheda, Co Louth Sherry FitzGerald Lannon is guiding a price of €6.5m for a 18.33-acre site with planning permission for 237 residential units (€27k per unit) on the Old Slane Road in Drogheda, Co Louth. The lands come to the market with full approval for a scheme comprising 86 houses, 40 duplexes, 111 apartments and a creche, along with associated open space, landscaping, roads and footpaths. Permission is in place for an underground car park as part of one of the apartment buildings. The Irish Times, 8th February

Blackrock, South Co Dublin The much anticipated Rockpoint apartment scheme by Seabren Homes in Blackrock in south Co Dublin has come to market through joint agents Cushman & Wakefield and Sherry FitzGerald New Homes. On completion, the PRS scheme will comprise 91 units across two blocks. The scheme is on the corner of Newtown Avenue and Maretimo Terrace and is being sold by way of a forward purchase agreement for which the agents are guiding in excess of €59m. The project will include 49 one-bedroom apartments and 38 two-bedroom apartments. Completion of the units is anticipated in early Q4 2023. The rents in Rockpoint could be between €2.6k to €4k+ for the larger units. The apartments will be finished with a standard fitout including flooring, tiling and laminate timber finishes. The Business Post, 12th February
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O’Devaney Gardens, Dublin 7 Work is finally set to start on 1,000 homes at the long-delayed O’Devaney Gardens site after Dublin City Council agreed terms with Bartra Capital, the property developer, over what the project will look like. The site will be developed in four phases, with the first phase delivering 379 social, affordable and private homes as well as a park, creche and retail units. The deal struck between Dublin City Council and Bartra involved 20% of homes being sold to the council for social housing, with a further 30% allocated for affordable purchase housing. Bartra was also asked to sell a further 30% of the homes to an approved housing body, but no legal obligation was attached to this request. The remaining 20% of units would be for private dwellings. The Business Post, 10th February

Daft Q4 Rental Report Ireland’s private rental market remains chronically starved of homes, leading to rents in the final quarter of last year an average of 13.7% higher than the same period a year earlier, the latest Daft.ie report has found. While there are regional differences, all parts of the country are experiencing substantial YoY increases in open market rents. Nationwide, there were just 1,096 homes available to rent on February 1st, down over 20% on the same date a year ago and c. one quarter the average level of availability during 2015-2019. The average market rent nationwide between October and December was €1,733 per month, up 2.7% compared to the third quarter of the year and 126% above the low of €765 seen in late 2011. Daft Q4 Rental Report, 13th February

Blarney, Co Cork Lands in Blarney that once housed the largest offices in the O’Reilly Travel group are on the market for €5m. Just under a quarter of the c. 45-acre site, which is close to Blarney village, is zoned for residential development. The substantial land parcel, a greenfield landholding with extensive frontage onto St Ann’s Road, which links the site to Blarney village to the east and Tower to the west, consists of c. 35 acres. Of this, 10.4 acres are zoned for residential development, capable of accommodating c. 100-120 mixed house types. The Irish Examiner, 9th February

Raheny, Dublin 5 Dublin City Council intends to “fully defend” a constitutional challenge taken by property developer Marlet group to the validity of the new Dublin City Development Plan, according to confidential documents issued to councillors. The case centres on the councillors’ decision to change the zoning on Marlet’s lands beside St Anne’s Park in Raheny to “open space” use, prohibiting the construction of housing. The 16.5-acre site to the east of St Paul’s College at Sybil Hill between Raheny and Clontarf has been the subject of multiple housing applications and court actions since it was bought by Marlet group in 2015. The Irish Times, 13th February

Kildare County Two of Ireland’s largest home builders are seeking a judicial review of Kildare County Council’s new development plan that would mean the number of homes built in the county cut to just over 9,000 in the next six years. Glenveagh Properties and Cairn Homes have applied to the High Court, seeking a review of the proposed County Development Plan for 2023-2029. Under the plan, the building of 9,144 homes would be permitted in the county over that period, down from the 22,272 that were allowed under the previous development plan. The companies said the decision to reduce the number of new homes allowed arises from a reliance on out-of-date Census data from 2016 and follows the adoption of the National Planning Framework in 2019. The Irish Times, 9th February

Terenure, Dublin 6W An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for a seven-storey, 364-unit build-to-rent apartment scheme on former playing fields at Terenure College in Dublin. The decision means the appeals board is upholding Dublin City Council’s refusal for the scheme last August. Developer Lioncor lodged a first party appeal against the refusal, while the Terenure West Residents Association and the College and Wainsfort Residents Association lodged a joint appeal calling on An Bord Pleanála to strengthen the grounds of refusal. The scheme would comprise four apartment blocks including 15 studios, 166 one-bed apartments, 174 two-bed apartments and nine three-bed units. It would also include 21 houses. The Irish Times, 8th February

Raheny, Dublin 5 Developer Tetrarch is appealing Dublin City Council’s refusal of planning permission for a 78-unit “over-65s” scheme on lands around the 18th-century protected structure Sybil Hill House in Raheny, north Dublin. The Tetrarch senior living plan involves three blocks, with one rising to five storeys, on lands owned by the Vincentian Order located 150 metres from an entrance to St Anne’s Park and adjacent to St Paul’s College. Tetrarch Capital is proposing in a revised scheme for the appeals board that three units from one block be omitted, resulting in the proposed development now comprising 75 units – 52 one-bed and 23 two-bed units. The Irish Times, 8th February

Private Landlord Exodus Sherry FitzGerald estimates that c. 21,000 property transactions last year involved investors exiting the market. The departure of smaller landlords on the back of high taxes and complex tenancy laws has been cited as one of the main drivers of undersupply in the rental market. In its latest review of the State’s residential market, Sherry FitzGerald estimated that there were 58,400 residential property sales last year. Applying the trends that have been seen over the past number of years, this suggests that c. 21,000 of these sales will have been investors exiting the market, the company said. A recent report by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland linked the exit of landlords to “overly complex” rent legislation, low rental returns and compliance with “onerous” housing standards. The Irish Times, 8th February

Construction Figures The number of homes completed last year has been overestimated by c. 6,000, figures drawn from the National Building Control Office suggest. The CSO recently reported that 29,851 new homes were built in the Republic last year, news welcomed at the time by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien. However, independent firm Construction Information Services (CIS), argues that other official figures show the actual total was more than 6,000 lower at 23,751, below the Government’s 25,000 target. The CSO uses the number of homes connected by State company ESB Networks for electricity distribution for its calculations. CIS draws its conclusion from figures provided by the National Building Control Office, a statutory body under the umbrella of Mr. O’Brien’s department. The Irish Times, 14th February

Planning applications for more than 70,000 homes are awaiting decisions after being appealed to An Bord Pleanála or to the courts, the Oireachtas housing committee is to hear. The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) will tell TDs and Senators that decisions on c. two years of housing supply are with the planning appeals authority or the subject of judicial review in the High Court. In a submission to the committee, CIF director of housing and planning Conor O’Connell says that a judicial review case adds between €10k and €20k to the cost of a home. Another body, Property Industry Ireland, will tell the committee that, in the near term, the State could be required to grant planning permission for between 50,000 and 60,000 homes annually to meet demand, a figure much higher than official estimates. Mr. O’Connell adds that commencements have declined by 13% in the last year and that planning permissions have undergone a “dramatic decline” in the past year. The Irish Times, 14th February



The Irish construction sector registered a sustained contraction in activity in the first month of 2023, a new report has found. However, builders are hopeful that the government’s move to raise the price caps on its shared equity scheme will support house prices. The BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland Construction Total Activity Index posted at 47.7 in January, up from 43.2 in December, but indicative of a fourth successive monthly reduction in Irish construction output. Any reading below 50 indicates activity in a sector is declining. Despite this, BNP Paribas said there were positive indicators for the sector, including supply pressures displayed signs of easing. The Business Post, 13th February

Nama, the state ‘bad bank’ recorded a profit of €63m in 2022, new accounts for the organisation show. This was down significantly compared to the €195m profit it made in 2021, as the organisation continues to slowly wind down with a view to ceasing operations entirely by the end of 2025. Nama mostly generates cash from selling properties or loans. During 2022, it made €319m from these activities, compared to €619m in 2021. The organisation said it is in the process of building out land banks which it took control of. To date, Nama has funded the delivery of over 28,000 new homes. Of these, c. 14,000 were directly funded by Nama. Nama has approved funding for a further 1,214 housing units. However, it said building these units is “subject to confirmation of their commercial viability at time of commencement”. The Business Post, 8th February

Abbey Street Lower, Dublin 1 The redevelopment of the Abbey Theatre has moved a step closer after three landowners on Abbey Street and Eden Quay who opposed their buildings being subjected to compulsory purchase orders (CPO) withdrew their objections. An Bord Pleanála confirmed that there are no longer any objections to plans by Dublin City Council to CPO 18-21 Eden Quay, 24-26 Abbey Street Lower, and 7, 8 and 20 Old Abbey Street to facilitate the national theatre’s €80m redevelopment. The theatre has already purchased a number of adjoining buildings on the open market to increase its footprint, including 15-17 and 22-23 Eden Quay. The Irish Times, 10th February


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