22nd August (Issue 110)

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.



Starwood Office Portfolio: The Sunday Times reports that Starwood Property Trust has turned down an offer to sell its c. €380m Dublin portfolio at a ‘significant premium’. The company acquired the portfolio, which consists of 12 office blocks and an apartment complex, from Lone Star in 2015, for over €300m. The office assets include the Iveagh Court Complex, the Watermarque building, Marsh House and 11 – 12 Hogan Place. Lone Star is reported to have made a substantial profit from the sale of the portfolio to Starwood, having acquired the portfolio for c. €220m from NAMA in 2014 as part of the agency’s Project Holly loan sale. The Sunday Times, 20th August



Carrisbrook House: A joint venture between Colony Northstar and U+I has purchased Carrisbrook House, the home of the Israeli embassy in Dublin. The property previously made headlines after it emerged the State paid almost €1m p.a. for vacant office space in the building for almost a decade, with the State agency Forfás citing security concerns for failing to find occupants for its space.  AIB Investment Manager, the other long-standing leaseholder, vacated the premises in 2008, also citing security concerns. The Israeli embassy, which signed a 30-year lease agreement with Forfas in 1995, has been the only tenant in the building for a number of years. Based on documents referenced by The Sunday Times, Colony and U+I acquired the property from Carrisbrook Unlimited in July. The property was acquired by Bernard McNamara in 2007 for c. €46m, before it was sold by a receiver in 2012 for c. €16.3m. The Sunday Times, 21st August

Cork Business and Technology Park: An unnamed Irish investment company has paid c. €8m (c. €0.75m over guide) to acquire two buildings in the suburbs of Cork City, Unit 8 and Unit 14 in Cork Business & Technology Park. With the current rental income at c. €808k p.a., the properties should offer a return of just over 9% p.a. Unit 8 extends to 24,755 sq. ft. and is occupied by Apple Operations Europe, a subsidiary of Apple. Unit 14 extends to 36,340 sq. ft. and is occupied by Trend Micro (EMEA) Ltd. The combined WAULT of the two units is under four years. The Irish Examiner, 15th August



The Temple Bar Inn: The owner of the Temple Bar Inn, a 101-bedroom, three-star hotel located on Fleet Street in Dublin city centre, is seeking planning permission from Dublin City Council to add an additional 89 rooms to the property, via a six-storey extension. The applicant is Heights Hospitality Operations Ltd, which is an Irish company controlled by Dan Dumitrescu, Thomas Doyle and David Reuter. NAMA Wine Lake, 20th August



Waterford City Development: Waterford City Council is seeking c. €61m of state investment to assist in a project which should double the size of the city centre. In a submission to the Government’s ten-year capital plan, the city council has stated that the funding would unlock a further €500m from Saudi Arabian and Irish investors to regenerate a derelict site on the city’s North Quays. The plans involve the construction of a new bridge across the River Suir for both pedestrians and cyclists, as well as the relocation of the city’s train and bus stations. To date, Waterford has grown almost exclusively on the south of the Suir. The Saudi-based Fawaz Alhokair Group will invest c. €300m in a retail and office development on the north side of the river, but only if the State agrees to fund new infrastructure, while Irish developer Seamus Walsh is planning to redevelop the Ard Rí hotel into a five-star resort. The Sunday Business Post, 20th August

Donaghmede Apartments Application: Midgard Construction Ltd has applied to Dublin City Council for planning permission to construct 209 new apartments in 4 four-to-five storey blocks on the site of the former Columban Missionary on The Hole in the Wall Road in Donaghmede in north Dublin city. The new apartments will consist of 72 one-bedroom units, 102 two-bedroom units and 35 three-bedroom units. The project will require the demolition of the existing building on the site, and the new development will also contain a 2,500 sq. ft. gym, a 3,000 sq. ft. crèche, and basement car and bicycle parking. NAMA Wine Lake, 20th August

Daft.ie Rent Report: The latest Daft.ie report on national rents shows that there are less than 3,000 properties available to rent nationwide, the lowest figure on record. There were also just 1,121 properties available to rent in Dublin on August 1st 2017, which is more than 20% below the number of properties available to rent 12 months’ previously. Rents in Dublin are now c. 18% higher than their peak from the Celtic Tiger, with the average property in the capital costing €1,741 p.m. to rent, representing an increase of 12.3% YoY. Excluding Dublin, national rents have risen by 11.9% YoY. Rents in Cork city and Galway city also saw strong inflation, at 6.8% and 10.0% respectively. The Daft.ie Rental Price Report, Q2 2017

Ronan Planning Applications: Johnny Ronan’s Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) has taken additional steps to secure planning permission for two substantial projects in Dublin and Wicklow. RGRE have submitted extensive information to Dublin City Council in relation to a c. 717,000 sq. ft., mixed-use development in Spencer Dock in the north docklands. RGRE had sought planning permission from the council for a 212-bedroom hotel, c. 500,000 sq. ft. of office space and restaurant / retail units, before the council sought further information. RGRE have also appealed Wicklow County Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a c. €50m, 141-bedroom hotel in St Valery’s, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, to An Bord Pleanála. The Irish Independent, 22nd August



Northwest Business Park: IPUT PLC has pre-let Unit 624 Northwest Business Park in Dublin 15 to German logistics operator DB Schenker. The company will occupy the building, which extends to 103,000 sq. ft., later this month after the completion of a substantial extension to Unit 624, which IPUT acquired vacant in 2015. The facility sits on a secure 5.1-acre self-contained site with three gated entrances, and is strategically located close to Dublin Airport, with excellent links to the M2, M3 and M50 motorways. William Harvey & Co advised IPUT on the transaction. IPUT, 14th August


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