22nd August (Issue 411)

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.



Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 AIB wants to sell its €170m senior debt facility that is secured against Blanchardstown Shopping Centre in west Dublin. The bank has instructed Alantra to solicit offers for the position, which forms part of the wider €550m senior debt syndication on Blanchardstown. Following a sharp fall in value of the centre under its current ownership, AIB is understood to be willing to sell the debt, which matures next year, at a discount. The move comes as Goldman Sachs, the centre’s owner, is considering a sale of the asset for less than the value the US investment bank paid for it just over two years ago. Goldman is expected to seek approx. €650m for the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, with the sale likely to come forward early next year. React News, 21st August

St Patrick’s Street, Cork Carroll’s Irish Gifts will take over the ex-Oasis property at 48/49 St Patrick’s Street, on the corner with Princes Street. Carroll’s has just started a store fit-out on St Patrick Street at its new ‘Oasis’ base, with 1,900 sq. ft at ground level and return frontage in a prime trading pitch. Bannon acted for owner Irish Life, seeking a rent of over €200k pa on a 10-year lease, with JLL acting for Carroll’s Irish Gifts. The Irish Examiner, 18th August

North Wall Quay, Dublin 1 Retailer Dunnes Stores has begun work on the fit-out of the anchor tenant unit of the Point Village development on North Wall Quay, Dublin, 15 years after the Irish supermarket chain agreed to do so in a deal with developer Harry Crosbie. The dispute between his former company, Point Village Development Ltd (now in liquidation) and Dunnes Stores has raged in the courts ever since, with the High Court at one stage directing that the fit-out begin, but Dunnes then securing a stay on that order. However, a notice that work was finally to commence on the unit was lodged on behalf of Dunnes Stores with Dublin City Council earlier this month. The Irish Times, 18th August



St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 Plans for a new 61-bedroom hotel close to St Stephen’s Green in Dublin are facing local opposition. Last month, Grafton Residence UC lodged plans for a new eight-storey hotel on a site known as Textile House at Johnson Place and Clarendon Market. The new hotel would be managed from the nearby 127-bedroom Grafton Hotel and represent an expansion of the Sretaw Hotel Group. The Irish Times, 16th August

Temple Bar, Dublin 2 The owner of The Temple Bar has lodged an application for a new hotel in the area. Chambers Properties Ltd has applied for permission for a new 47-room boutique hotel facing on to Dame Street and Eustace Street in Dublin. The application involves the change of use of a building known as the Shamrock Chambers. The five-storey over basement building currently houses a vacant restaurant, unused offices and a shop. A decision is due on the application next month. The Irish Times, 15th August

Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) report The State should help subsidise the construction of thousands of hotel beds in regional areas, the ITIC has said. A report published by the group called for a range of interventions, such as a commercial rates waiver in certain locations. However, the group did not give estimates of how much these measures could cost the State. The ITIC report estimated that 11,500 additional tourism beds will be required in the next decade if Ireland is to meet projected tourism demand. There are approx. 67,000 hotel bedrooms in the country. It estimated that international tourists will jump from the pre-pandemic peak of 9.7m in 2019 to more than 13m in 2032. The measures recommended in the report include tax breaks aimed at regional tourist developments, changes to planning and regulation to facilitate building in “targeted areas” and commercial rates holidays in certain areas. The Irish Independent, 18th August



Rosemount Business Park and Dublin Airport Iput Real Estate is selling two warehouses for in excess of €40m. KKR and partner Palm Capital have agreed terms to buy the assets – a 270,000 sq. ft Dunnes Stores logistics facility at Rosemount Business Park and a warehouse leased to DHL at Dublin airport. The two warehouses, let to the grade A covenants of Dunnes and DHL, will provide ample asset management opportunities to Palm Capital and KKR. Currently let off low rents compared to relevant estimated rental values the duo are expected to enhance each facility with ESG-focused improvements. React News, 18th August



Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 London-headquartered law firm Simmons & Simmons is gearing up to expand its presence in the Irish market, signing a lease on a new office that will give it the capacity to double its workforce here. The firm, which has 55 employees, is planning to relocate to One Molesworth Street, near Leinster House in central Dublin. It has been based at Grand Canal Dock since 2019, having opened in Dublin in May 2018. The 13,100 sq. ft office is located on the fourth floor and will have the potential to accommodate 120 staff, the firm said. The Irish Times, 16th August

Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1 Primark is preparing to launch a hunt for a development partner to transform Independent House, on Middle Abbey Street in Dublin city centre, a decade after the company bought the 75,000 sq. ft property for approx. €6m. According to market sources, the company wants to turn the 1920s building into a hotel or offices. The five-storey building has remained vacant for 20 years. The Sunday Times, 20th August



Clifden, Co Galway A new State-run nursing home is set to cost four times more than those built by the private sector, a representative group for nursing home operators has claimed. Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI), which represents private operators, has accused the Government of spending “extortionate” amounts of taxpayers’ money to develop public facilities when compared to what their members have spent building new homes. The intervention comes after Minister for Older People announced €35m for development of a 40-bed nursing home in Clifden, Co Galway. NHI said this worked out at around €880k per bed, while a report drafted for the representative group by PWC found private nursing homes in rural areas could be built for €162k per bed. The new facility includes 40 beds comprising 20 long-stay beds, 10 dementia-specific beds, and 10 short-stay beds including for respite and step-down care. The Irish Independent, 21st August



Student Accommodation More than 1,000 new student beds will be provided under a Government scheme to subsidise the cost of accommodation but none will be available for the coming academic year. In November, Minister for Further and Higher Education announced the Government would intervene for the first time in the provision of student accommodation, given the acute shortages in the sector. The priority was to activate projects that had planning permission but were stalled due to rising construction costs and financing. Figures provided by the Department of Further and Higher Education reveal that the State has provided up to €61m in capital and current funding to unlock the development of 1,072 beds in four universities. The Irish Times, 16th August



Housing Construction Two development companies have drawn up plans for two Large Scale Residential Development (LRDs) schemes totalling more than 1,000 units in Dublin commuter counties. In one scheme the Irish arm of the Comer Group is to lodge plans in the coming days for 716 dwellings on lands around Dunboyne in Co Meath. In a planning notice published on behalf of Comer Group subsidiary AZRA Property Company Ltd, the firm is seeking a 10-year planning permission for an LRD comprised of 517 apartments in eight blocks ranging from four to seven storeys. The LRD scheme is to be constructed on a 42-acre site in the townlands of Castle Farm, Ruskin and Clonee. It would also include 155 two-storey houses. There would be eight two-bedroom homes, 69 three-bedroom homes, 74 four-bedroom homes and four five-bedroom homes. In the second major LRD scheme, Glenageary, Co Dublin-based firm Keldrum Limited has lodged plans for a 352-unit residential scheme on a 41.5-acre site at Tinakilly, Rathnew, Co Wicklow. The plan for the site on the northern periphery of Wicklow Town includes 220 houses and 132 apartment/duplex/maisonette units. The Irish Times, 17th August

Crumlin, Dublin 12 Seabren Developments has secured planning permission for a €70m, 152-unit residential scheme for Crumlin in Dublin 12. The award of permission comes after Seabren’s third application in respect of the site to the southwest of St Agnes Rd, Crumlin, Dublin 12. The company has joined with Circle VHA CLG in drawing up the Large Scale Residential scheme. The new permission comes after a community group in January this year brought a High Court challenge to an October 2022 grant of permission by An Bord Pleanála for a fast-track 150-unit Strategic Housing Development (SHD) for the site. The new application confirmed that the October 2022 permission “is currently the subject of a judicial review”. The new scheme consists of 152 apartments comprising 75 one-bed units, 72 two-bed units and five three-bed units, a creche, cafe and the change of use of Glebe House from residential use to a community building for community arts and culture. Two apartment buildings to the rear of Glebe House would range in height from four to six storeys. The Irish Times, 17th August

House prices in Dublin fell at the fastest annual rate in nearly three years in June as higher interest rates curbed affordability. The latest Residential Property Price Index from the CSO indicated that prices in the capital dropped by 0.9% in June, the biggest yearly drop recorded since October 2020. Across the State, house prices continued to grow on an annual basis but at a reduced rate of 2.2%. That was down from 2.6% the previous month and from an annual rate of 14% in June 2022. The latest index pointed to a significant fall-off in transactions with purchases down by more than 9% in June to just over 4,000. Central Bank data showed the average interest rate on new home loans rose above 4% in June – the highest level in almost a decade. The Irish Times, 16th August

The LDA has indicated that at least 13,000 new homes could be delivered if the Government agrees to ramp up funding to the body by up to €8bn. According to market sources, the Government is discussing moves to redirect up to €8bn from a new sovereign wealth fund into housing, as part of a fresh push to boost the supply of social and affordable homes. It is understood that the extra funding would also help to ramp up the delivery of cost rental units, which allow tenants to pay a lower rent. The Irish Times, 16th August

Balgriffin, North Dublin Cairn Homes is in talks to bulk sell more than 400 homes at its Parkside 5B project in Balgriffin in North Dublin to an approved housing body in the largest deal of its kind ever completed by such a body in Ireland. Industry sources have estimated the deal could be worth €200m. Last year, Cairn received permission to build 730 apartments across five blocks at the development. Documents show the unnamed approved housing body in talks with Cairn doesn’t plan to purchase the entire development. It has, however, indicated that it plans to remove 90% of the amenity space in two of the blocks before it agrees to a deal. Cairn Homes said the approved housing body had identified a need for more one- and two-bed apartments to meet demand and therefore had proposed to replace the amenity spaces with an additional 13 apartments. The Business Post, 20th August

Sandford Road, Dublin 18 An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission to Midsal Homes for a contentious apartment scheme in Sandford Road, Dublin 18 after cutting the number of units by 15%. In granting planning permission for the Strategic Housing Development (SHD), the appeals board has reduced the number of apartments from 137 to 116 “in the interests of residential and visual amenities”. The Irish Times, 18th August

Social and Cost-Rental Homes The approved housing body, Respond, is on track to triple the number of social and cost-rental homes it will have in construction to more than 4,100 in the coming months, it has said. The organisation’s construction programme is to expand to €2bn over the coming year as, supported by local authorities, it has secured fixed-price contracts with a number of leading developers and building contractors to construct large, mixed-tenure housing projects in Dublin and Cork, it said. The organisation’s projects include the final completion of large mixed-tenure developments at Charlestown, Finglas (138 homes) and Enniskerry Road, Stepaside (155 homes). It is also working on a Long Mile Road development, which will provide 153 homes when completed later this year, the organisation said. The body buys sites and finances construction by way of fixed-price contracts, with 85% of its development schemes being construction-led. This model, Respond says, allows it to save up to €60k per unit compared to a housing-acquisition model. The Irish Times, 22nd August



Saggart, Co Dublin A subsidiary of Irish investment group Tetrarch Capital has received planning permission from South Dublin County Council for an 8,047-plot cemetery on the grounds of the former golf course beside the Citywest Hotel, in Saggart, Co Dublin, subject to a number of conditions. Tetrarch had sought permission for the burial plots, columbarium walls (to hold the ashes of those who are cremated), a single-storey reception building, an office and associated facilities alongside a new road to provide access to the N7/M7 Naas Road, 110 car-parking spaces and extensive landscaping, including the reshaping of an existing lake with the provision of a footbridge. The Irish Times, 17th August

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