22nd March (Issue 339)

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.




Western Industrial Estate, Dublin 12 Harvey has secured the sale of two older-style industrial facilities, totalling over 37,000 sq. ft., at the Western Industrial Estate in Dublin 12. In the first instance, the former Actavo facility at Knockmitten Lane North secured c. €2.52m, close to 40% over the €1.8m asking price. The sale was concluded by way of best bids with nine parties vying for the asset. The property comprises 18,934 sq. ft. of semi-detached industrial and office space, split between two buildings. The main attractions of the unit were its REGEN zoning and generous site area totalling 1.56 acres, which represents 0.6 of an acre over the standard industrial site coverage. Unit 182/183 Holly Road represented the more typical Western Industrial Estate stock, comprising of a semi-detached industrial and ancillary office unit of 18,180 sq. ft. on a fenced and secure site of 0.8 acres. The property was sold for just shy of its €1.65m asking price. The Irish Times, 16th March



IFSC, Dublin Hibernia REIT is selling the Forum in Dublin’s IFSC in a deal worth €30.8m. The company said it has exchanged contracts to sell the Forum to a company controlled by Spear Street Capital for €30.8m, a price that is in line with the September 2021 carrying value. Built in 2003, the Forum includes 47,000 sq. ft. of office space over two floors, above a four-storey car park with 370 spaces. The vacant offices benefit from the use of 50 car parking spaces, with the remaining 320 used by parking company Park Rite Limited, on a €600k pa lease that expires in mid-2033. The deal is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2022. The Irish Times, 17th March

Tallaght, Dublin 24 CBRE has brought the penthouse floor of 1 Tuansgate in Tallaght in west Dublin to the market to let. The fully fitted office suite extends to c. 5,410 sq. ft. and also boasts over 1,000 sq. ft. of additional basement storage and 24 car parking spaces. 1 Tuansgate is close to the Square Tallaght and is well served by public transport. CBRE is offering the space to the market by way of flexible lease terms with a quoting rent of €18.6 per sq. ft. The Business Post, 20th March

Docklands, Dublin An Post is relocating its headquarters from the General Post Office in Dublin to the Exo, the tallest office building in Ireland, after securing a 15-year leasing agreement with Tristan Capital Partners. In the largest office letting in Ireland this year so far, the state-owned postal service will take 77,300 sq. ft. across five floors at the 17-storey tower in Dublin’s north docklands. The 224,500 sq. ft. property targets the highest sustainability credentials, having already achieved LEED Platinum, NZEB, Wired Platinum and a Building Energy rating of A3. Tristan and its partner SW3 Capital purchased the Exo building, which had been funded by Nama, in late December 2017. The Exo is 70% leased or reserved, with a leading Irish fintech company taking 35,000 sq. ft. on a 15-year lease in a separate deal. Upon completion at the end of March, the overall development will comprise workspace for more than 1,950 people, with a 10,760 sq. ft. roof garden as well as a bar and restaurant. React News, 17th March



Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 Premium fashion group Flannels has signed a deal for its second Dublin store. The luxury retailer is to open for business at the Blanchardstown Centre. Flannels will occupy the ground floor of the former Debenhams unit. At 45,000 sq. ft., the space will be the larger of the two outlets committed to by the retailer in the Irish market to date. Flannels’ premises at the redeveloped Clerys store will extend to 30,000 sq. ft. BNP Paribas Real Estate and Bannon are the joint leasing agents for the Blanchardstown Centre. The Irish Times, 16th March

Greenman European Supermarkets (GES) Greenman, the Irish-based investor in European retail property, has launched GES, an open-ended fund which aims to own €500m worth of property by 2025. It will invest primarily in grocery-anchored EU real estate, logistics and omni-channel grocery distribution assets as well as retail platforms. GES has already collected subscriptions of c. €10m. Its acquisition strategy is targeting primary and secondary sale and lease back transactions. The fund recently made its first investment in a portfolio of six Carrefour supermarkets based in France. Greenman had already built long-term relationships with four of the European Union’s top five retailers: Edeka, Rewe, Aldi and Kaufland. Now with GES, they have gained access to Carrefour, locking in relationships with all the EU’s top five grocers. The Irish Independent, 17th March



Castletownbere, Co Cork Property developer Paddy McKillen Jr has acquired Dunboy Castle, the stalled luxury hotel development in Castletownbere in Co Cork. The purchase has been made by Oakmount, Mr McKillen’s property development company, while his Press Up hospitality group will ultimately operate the resort complex when completed and launched. While no purchase price has been confirmed, Dunboy Castle was on the market for more than €2.5m. The 84-bed, 120,000 sq. ft. castle is located on more than 40 acres of land overlooking Bantry Bay. The new owners said they will bring the historic property to completion and open it as a “destination” hotel and resort, which will include luxury rooms and suites, a spa and swimming pool, gym, and a separate space for weddings and events. The Irish Examiner, 21st March



Castleknock, Dublin A third Belgian nursing home investor has entered the Irish market with the purchase of nursing homes in Dublin and Cork. Care Property Invest has agreed to pay €26.7m for Elm Green Nursing Home, a 120-bed care centre with 27 independent living apartments in Castleknock, Dublin. It comes a month after the completion of its first transaction, the €6.2m purchase of Ballincurrig Care Centre, a 55-bed nursing home in Cork. The French operator DomusVi will run the Dublin nursing home, while Silver Stream Healthcare will operate the Cork property. Care Property Invest joins Aedifica and Cofinimmo as Belgian investors that have entered the market here over the past 15 months. The Sunday Times, 20th March



Finglas, Dublin 11 NAMA has sold 54 apartments in Finglas for c. €14.5m (€269k per apartment) to LRC Group according to market sources. Colliers had offered the portfolio to the market last June on the instruction of receivers BDO. The portfolio consists of 49 two-bedroom apartments – 30 of which are duplex – and five one-bedroom apartments distributed across five blocks at the scheme. Each apartment has at least one parking space at basement level, while 18 apartments have the benefit of two spaces. Currently 26 of the units are fully-occupied at an average monthly rent of €1.2k, which is relatively low when compared to the rents being achieved across the capital at present. The remaining 28 units are vacant and 26 of these can be let at full-market rent as they have not been let previously. Market rents are in the region of €1.7k a month for a two-bed and €1.5k for a one-bed. At the time of the sale Colliers estimated the portfolio will have a market rental value of c. €1.092m once it is fully let. The sale also included an opportunity to provide eight additional apartments, as planning permission has been granted to convert six retail units and a medical unit into five two-bed apartments, two one-bed, and one three-bed. The Irish Times, 16th March

Naas, Co Kildare Coonan Property is guiding €1.5m for a site in Naas Town Centre with full planning permission for the development of 20 residential units. Located on the Limerick Road (R445), the site offers the opportunity to deliver a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom townhouses and apartments. The approved scheme provides for the demolition of an existing derelict two-storey house and outbuildings, and the construction of 11 three-storey houses, one single-storey house and a four-storey block of eight apartments. The development will also include the provision of 11 car parking spaces and will be offered for sale by public auction in Lawlor’s Hotel, Naas on April 12th. The Irish Times, 16th March

Blackpool, Cork An Bord Pleanála has rejected fast-track plans for a €70m 191-unit BTR apartment scheme for Cork city. Last year, Eichsfeld Ltd lodged plans for the scheme for Distillery Quarter, Blackpool, on the N20 leading out of Cork city. The scheme across three parcels of land comprises five apartment blocks with two reaching to nine storeys in height and is made up of 99 one-bed apartments, 69 two-bed apartments and 23 three-bed apartments. Eichsfeld had proposed to provide 19 units to Cork City Council and had put an indicative price tag of €6.94m on the units. The apartment blocks included two four-storey buildings already in place and the council recommended to the appeals board that planning permission be granted for the proposed developments at Parcel A and Parcel C but to refuse planning permission for the proposed development at Parcel B. Several objections were also received from locals against the scheme. The Irish Times, 15th March

Blackrock, South Co Dublin A Dublin local authority has granted planning permission for a 41-unit apartment scheme for the Frascati Centre in Blackrock, despite local opposition. Last August, IMRF II Frascati Ltd Partnership lodged plans for the 41 apartments as part of Phase Two of the overall development plan for the Frascati Centre on Frascati Road in south Dublin. The 41-unit scheme is comprised of 15 studios, 18 one-bed units and eight two-bed units in a U-shaped residential block, arranged around a central communal courtyard space. Third parties have the option of appealing the grant of permission to An Bord Pleanála. The Irish Times, 16th March

Wetland, Co Kilkenny, An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for fast-track plans from Cairn Homes for 183 residential units in Kilkenny city. In the scheme, Cairn Homes is to build 20 four-bedroom homes, 67 three-bed homes and five duplex blocks containing 32 two-bedroom units and 32 three-bedroom units 2km from Kilkenny city. The scheme also includes a block containing 17 one-bedroom units and 15 two-bedroom units at a site in the townland of Wetland, Callan Road, Breagagh Valley, Kilkenny. The Irish Times, 16th March

Bray, Co Wicklow Finnegan Menton has brought a ready to go, mixed-use development site at 22-24 Main Street in Bray, Co Wicklow to market for sale guiding €1.5m. The property, known as Anvil, was a well-known homeware retail store for almost 50 years. The property extends to c. 0.3 acres and has several storage units and outbuildings totalling c. 8,610 sq. ft. at the rear. The site has full planning permission for six large townhouses (ranging in size from c. 1,194-1,313 sq. ft.) with courtyards, terraces and surface parking to the rear of the site. There are nine spacious apartments offering a mix of one, two and three-bedrooms. There is also a ground-floor retail unit of c. 1,010 sq. ft. on Main Street and offices of 750 sq. ft. The Business Post, 20th March

Dartry, Dublin 6 Residents in Dublin 6 have claimed that anti-social behaviour by students living at Trinity College Dublin’s (TCD) student accommodation at Dartry, Dublin 6 would worsen if a new accommodation scheme proceeds. Earlier this year, TCD lodged fast-track plans to An Bord Pleanála for a 358-bed student residential scheme for Trinity Hall in Dartry. TCD currently provides 995 bed spaces at Trinity Hall and planning consultants for the college, Declan Brassil & Company, state that the proposed development would “assist in addressing the current undersupply of student accommodation in Dublin city and reduce pressure on the private rental market”. An Bord Pleanála previously granted TCD the go-ahead for the student accommodation scheme at Trinity Hall in August 2020 despite local residents’ concerns. However, after a local resident challenged the decision in the High Court, the appeals board in February of last year consented to quashing the planning permission and to a costs order in the case. TCD lodged a new application in January and a decision is due in May. The Irish Times, 21st March

Land Dezoning McGarrell Reilly, which has been building homes since the early 1980s, would typically have capacity to build c. 300 homes a year, but in the coming years the firm’s residential activity could come to a standstill due to the scarcity of land. The company currently has a site in Kilcock in Co Meath which been zoned for residential use for c. 20 years and has capacity for 800 to 900 homes. In 2013, Meath County Council set a limit on how many homes could be built in its county development plan, which covered 2013 to 2019. McGarrell Reilly was told it could build the first phase of 350 homes on its Kilcock site, and could deliver the rest after 2019. It commenced work on the first phase of 350 homes, and the units are due to be finished this year. But it cannot proceed to phase two because, in the latest Meath development plan, the lands are no longer zoned for residential development. As part of its new development plan, Meath County Council has dezoned more than 300 hectares of residential lands which have the capacity for over 9,500 homes. The local authority’s decision has been influenced by the National Planning Framework, which aims to promote compact development in urban areas, and prevent urban sprawl by limiting the amount of available residential land in the Dublin commuter belt. Other developers in Ireland are faced with their lands being dezoned or are struggling to find new sites to develop.

Deloitte has estimated that c. 30,304 homes were commenced in 2021, compared to c. 21,000 in 2020 and 26,000 in 2019. More than 81,000 apartments have been granted planning permission in recent years, according to an analysis by EY Economic Advisory. Only one in five of those apartments have been built or commenced. The Business Post, 20th March

Barna, Co Galway The High Court has rejected a challenge to an approved plan for 121 homes in Barna, Co Galway. The challenge was brought by Heather Hill Management Company CLG, which represents residents of the neighbouring Cnoc Fraoigh housing estate. Burkeway Homes Ltd was granted permission by An Bord Pleanála for the development – comprising 52 houses, 69 apartments, a creche and a linear park – on a 13.1-acre site. The park and a creche will be on what is essentially the floodplain of the Trusky East stream. The challenge was against An Bord Pleanála, Ireland, the Attorney General and the Minister for Housing. Burkeway Homes was a notice party. The Irish Times, 21st March

Duleek, Co Meath The High Court has dismissed a judicial review challenge brought by a development company over An Bord Pleanála’s refusal to grant planning permission for 142 homes in Duleek, Co Meath. Manley Construction Ltd had applied directly to the planning board early last year for fast-track approval for a SHD of 82 houses and 60 apartments proposed for a 13.8-acre site off the Navan Road. The board refused permission citing a contravention of the Meath County Development Plan in relation to the zoning of the lands. Categorised as “A2 New Residential Phase II”, the site was “not available for residential development” within the life of the 2013-2019 plan. The Irish Times, 21st March



Burlington Real Estate Gresham House has bought Irish commercial property manager Burlington Real Estate for an initial consideration of €1.8m. Burlington has been in partnership with Gresham for five years as an adviser on its property fund. It manages or advises on assets of €340m. In addition to the €1.8m initial consideration, the sellers have agreed to subscribe to new shares in Gresham. The Burlington team will be integrated into Gresham over the coming months. React News, 16th March


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