15th November (Issue 373)

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.



Fibonacci Square, Dublin 4 The family firm of Zara founder Amancio Ortega remains on course to acquire Fibonacci Square, the 375,000 sq. ft. office space Johnny Ronan’s RGRE is developing as part of Meta’s new European headquarters in Ballsbridge. Ortega is prepared to pay the €550m valuation ascribed to the scheme in the early stages of negotiations. Should the deal proceed as expected, Ortega’s family office will begin collecting rental income of €22.6m from Meta in 2024 following the expiry of an agreed rent-free period of c. 18 months. The company signed a 25-year lease with Fibonacci Property ICAV, a joint venture between RGRE and its then funding partners Colony Capital, for Fibonacci Square in 2018. The Irish Times, 9th November

Clanwilliam Place, Dublin 2 Google’s landlords have sought to block the redevelopment of a central Dublin office block on Clanwilliam Place, with the building owner arguing that the new block would jeopardise the tech giant’s privacy. Hibernia Real Estate Group, the property firm, has filed plans to demolish a row of office buildings along Clanwilliam Place in Dublin 2 and construct a new eight-storey commercial development. The company has been given the all-clear by Dublin City Council, but last-minute complaints about the project have stalled development of the site. Two appeals, which have sought to block the project from progressing, have been lodged by Irish Life and Aviva’s pensions arm. The appeals against the project were lodged with An Bord Pleanála, which is expected to make a ruling on whether Hibernia can proceed with its planned office block by March 2023. The Business Post, 12th November

New Street South, Dublin 8 QRE Real Estate Advisers has been appointed to sell the second and third floors of 35 Cathedral Court, New Street South in Dublin 8, at a guide price of €2.25m. Cathedral Court is a mixed-use residential and commercial development surrounded by the Maldron, Hyatt Centric and Loft hotels. The sale provides for two new leases to Currie and Brown and Cuckoo Events Limited (Ireland). Both tenants have signed c. ten-year leases, with term certain income of c. five years. The second and third floors of Cathedral Court extend to c. 2,669 sq. ft. each. The Business Post, 11th November

Docklands, Dublin City Centre Ventaway, a company run by developer David Kennan and Winthrop engineering group founder Barry English, has lodged an appeal against Dublin City Council’s refusal of its plans to build the tallest tower in Irish capital. The proposed building at the site of the former City Arts Centre at City Quay would have 24 storeys standing 108m. The office-led scheme includes 243,100 sq. ft. office space and 15,112 sq. ft. artist studios and exhibition space. React News, 9th November



East Wall, Dublin 3 The East Wharf hotel, which is being developed as part of the wider East Wharf mixed-use scheme at the junction of Alfie Byrne Road and East Wall Road, will comprise 183 bedrooms distributed across 15 floors. Construction has commenced on site with practical completion expected in the final quarter of 2023. The hotel will be ready for fit-out and to begin operating in early 2024. Given that timing, CBRE is seeking proposals now from hoteliers for lease, management agreements or forward-purchase/commitment proposals. Upon completion, the hotel will form the centrepiece of the East Wharf scheme. The MKN Property Group is understood to have paid c. €6m to secure ownership of the East Wharf site in 2019. The sale of the 0.85-acre holding followed the move by its long-standing occupier, Canavan Ford and Seat, to a new car showroom on the North Circular Road. The Irish Times, 9th November

D’Olier Street, Dublin 2 The D’Olier Chambers building in Dublin city centre has secured a new lease with Church & Chambers, a sister restaurant to the Michelin Guide-recommended Mr. Fox on Parnell Square. It is to open for business following the agreement of a 20-year letting for the property. The annual reserved rent is €120k with reviews at five-year intervals. The restaurant will extend to 3,100 sq. ft. and will be laid out to provide a seating area at ground level with kitchens and patron facilities in the basement. The Irish Times, 9th November

Ballyfin, Co Laois One of the most exclusive hotels in the State, Ballyfin in Co Laois, returned to profit last year as revenues increased more than threefold. New accounts show that Ballyfin Demesne Ltd recorded a pretax profit of €786.9k, a turnaround from a €1.86m loss in 2020. Revenue at the five-star country house hotel jumped to €3.73m from €1.12m. Accommodation income showed the greatest improvement in 2021, rising to €2.23m from €624.3k. Food and beverage income trebled to €1.27m from €422.5k and other income amounted to €225.7k from €75k the previous year. Numbers employed by the business increased by a third to 48 from 36 last year, as staff costs went up more than 50% to €1.85m. Key management personnel were paid €387k. Advertised online rates at the hotel across November and December range from €620 per room per night to €2.31k per room per night. The Irish Times, 11th November

Rathmines, Dublin 6 Dublin City Council has refused planning permission for a planned 111-bedroom hotel for the Swan Centre in Rathmines. The council has rejected the application from the owners of the centre, Sawbridge Ltd, for the six-storey hotel after local opposition to the scheme. The Irish Times, 11th November



Dundrum, Dublin 16 Dunnes Stores has agreed a deal to open a new store in Dundrum Town Centre. In a move that will be watched closely by the scheme’s existing grocery anchor Tesco, as well as by Marks & Spencer which also has a grocery outlet in the centre, the Irish retail giant will occupy the unit due to be freed up by Penneys’ planned move from the second level of the centre to two floors of the former House of Fraser department store. According to market sources, Dunnes Stores has signed a 12-year lease and will pay a rent of €2.07m pa following the expiry of an agreed rent-free period of 24 months. The new store comprises 40,000 sq. ft. of retail space and a further 14,000 sq. ft. of back-of-house space. The Irish Times, 10th November



South William Street and Chatham Row, Dublin 2 Colliers is guiding a price of €2.35m for a fully let, mixed-use investment in Dublin’s south city centre. Located at 43 South William Street and 1 Chatham Row, the subject property comprises a four-storey over-basement building of 3,041 sq. ft. Metro Cafe occupies the ground floor and basement and pays a rent of €87.5k pa, under two separate leases, expiring in 2030, with upwards-only rent review provisions. There is 800 sq. ft. on the ground floor and a further 380 sq. ft. at basement level. There are three two-bedroom apartments overhead, which together, are producing €74.9k in annual rental income under separate residential tenancy agreements. All told, the investment is generating €162.4k pa. The Irish Times, 9th November

College Green, Dublin 2 The Bank of Ireland at College Green, one of Dublin’s most important historic buildings, is to undergo a €36m restoration, repair, and upgrade programme in what will be the largest investment in the building in more than 200 years. Built to house the Irish parliament in the 18th century, the building has been home to the bank since 1803. The renovation programme, expected to take five years, subject to planning permission, will involve the repair and upgrade of 280 windows, 45 staircases and 20 km of electrical cabling. Work will also be undertaken on the building’s 54 roofs, 80 roof lights and a combined 2.5 km of roof walkways. The Irish Times, 11th November



University College Dublin has shelved plans to build more than 1,200 student apartments on its campus, as the development was no longer “viable” due to inflation in construction costs, according to correspondence. A spokeswoman for UCD said that the expected cost of construction for the accommodation had “doubled”, and as such “the university could not afford to go ahead with the project”. The Irish Times, 14th November



Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin 15 A site with full planning permission for the delivery of 40 homes, which is located just north of the Blanchardstown Centre in Hollystown, Dublin 15, is being offered to the market by joint agents CBRE and Kelly Walsh at a guide price of €3m. The subject holding extends to 3.26 acres. The approved scheme is made up predominately of two and three-bedroom units ranging in size from 506 sq. ft. to 1,453 sq. ft. The Irish Times, 9th November

Midleton, Co Cork A substantial landholding in Midleton, where planning permission was previously granted for 400 homes, is on the market for €2.75m – with strong interest expected from Cork-based developers. The 30-acre site (c. €91k per acre), previously owned by Castlelands Construction, is being sold on behalf of Nama-appointed receivers, who took control of the lands in 2012, after the developer went bust. The Midleton land that is now for sale, on behalf of the receiver includes c. 25 acres zoned for residential use and five acres, near Gaelscoil Mhainstir na Corann, zoned for community use. The land is being sold by Tender with a date of December 15th, 2022 for submissions. The Irish Examiner, 10th November

Terenure, Dublin 12 Builder Lioncor has lodged plans with Dublin City Council for a 208-unit “social and affordable” apartment scheme for Terenure in Dublin 12. The builder earlier this year secured permission for a €106m apartment scheme, which also contained 208 units, for the same Carlisle site at Kimmage Road West, Terenure under An Bord Pleanála’s fast-track process. That plan attracted strong local opposition. However, if Lioncor gets permission for the social and affordable scheme located to the north and east of the Ben Dunne Gym, it looks set to build that instead of the permitted 208-unit Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme as there is a proposal to sell the new scheme to Co-operative Housing Ireland (CHI) for social housing. The new scheme to be built across four blocks is comprised of 104 one-bed and 104 two-bed apartments. The Irish Times, 9th November

Santry, Dublin 9 Plans for more than 850 State-subsidised homes on one of Dublin City Council’s largest sites will be lodged next month, c. eight years after the redevelopment scheme was first proposed. Developer Glenveagh will seek permission from the council for the 853 homes at Oscar Traynor Road in Santry under a deal approved by city councillors last November. Under the agreement, 40% of the homes will be used for social housing, 40% for cost-rental homes, and 20% sold to low- and middle-income workers qualifying for the affordable purchase scheme. The deal was approved one year after councillors rejected an earlier agreement with Glenveagh which would have resulted in 30% social housing, 20% affordable housing and 50% of the homes sold privately by the developer. An indicative time-line presented to councillors envisages a grant of permission in mid-2023 with work starting on site by the end of next year. The scheme will include 240 houses, and 613 apartments and duplex units up to six storeys tall. The Irish Times, 9th November

Donabate, North Dublin An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to contentious plans for a €360m housing development near Donabate in north Dublin. The appeals board has granted a 10-year planning permission to Aledo Donabate Ltd for the 1,323-unit scheme on a site close to the Dublin to Belfast rail-line. The Corballis East Strategic Housing Development (SHD) is thought to be the second biggest such scheme in the State, second only to the 1,600-unit Holy Cross development in Drumcondra. Aledo Donabate initially lodged plans in August 2021 for 1,365 units for a site 250m south of Donabate town centre. The permitted scheme comprises 625 apartments, 352 duplex apartments and 346 houses on a 108-acre site. The scheme will provide 132 social and affordable homes at an estimated cost of €35.8m with the average estimated cost of each home at €271.6k. The Irish Times, 14th November

Monkstown, South Dublin Plans are to be lodged in the coming days for 491 residential units for lands surrounding Dalguise House at Monkstown in south Dublin. Most of the scheme, 488 units, by GEDV Monkstown Owner Ltd is to be based on the build-to-rent model. The apartments are to be accommodated across 10 blocks on the 8.84-acre site at Dalguise House with one block reaching nine storeys and six seven-storey blocks. The build-to-rent units will include 288 one-bed units, 185 two-bed units, 13 three-bed units and two studios. The scheme will also provide residential units in the repurposed Dalguise House, its gate lodge and coach house. The unit number of the new Large-scale Residential Development (LRD) scheme is 64% larger than the 300-unit scheme that was previously proposed for the site. The Irish Times, 14th November



Non-Performing Loans, Bank of Ireland Bank of Ireland has agreed on deals for the disposal of two non-performing loan (NPL) portfolios comprising bad Irish and UK loans. The non-performing portfolios consist of mortgage loans and are valued at a discounted rate of €1.4bn. The sales of the two portfolios will allow the bank to lower its NPL ratio from its current 5.4% to 3.7%, close to the EU banking average. Both portfolios are currently generating c. €30m of gross interest income a year, according to the bank. Valued at c. €800m, the first deal is an Irish portfolio comprising owner-occupier and buy-to-let mortgages which is to be sold to funds managed by US distressed debt group AB CarVal. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. The €600m UK portfolio consists of mortgages and will be sold via securitisation on the international bond markets. React News, 9th November


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