22nd November (Issue 73)

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.




CBRE Retail Report: The latest CBRE report on the retail market indicates that the economic recovery has begun to spread beyond Dublin and its immediate commuter counties. In Cork, the high street vacancy rate has decreased from c. 19.5% in Q1 2015 to c. 8.1% in Q3 2016. The worst vacancy rate is in Athlone, Co. Westmeath, however even here the vacancy rate has fallen from c. 21.6% in 2014 to c. 14.9% in Q3 2016. Counties such as Limerick, Sligo and Waterford have also seen contraction in their vacancy rates. With regards to Dublin, the report states that the capital has a high street vacancy rate of c. 2.58%. This includes units that are reserved or close to fit-out, meaning that all streets are actually close to or at full occupancy. The report also notes however that while retail sales increased by c. 3.4% in the first 9 months of 2017, consumer sentiment dipped to a 22-month low in October as events such as Brexit began to impact the public’s view on the economic landscape. The Irish Independent, 17th November



Setanta Centre: The Irish Times reports that Larry Goodman has withdrawn the Setanta Centre from the market after negotiations to sell the Dublin city centre property fell through. Goodman had reportedly been in discussions to sell the 41-year-old office and retail complex to an overseas bidder for €110m-plus, however it is believed that the overseas bidder could not close the transaction. With the property now understood to be off the market, Goodman may look to redevelop it himself. The Irish Times, 21st November

Irish Nationwide HQ: Hines has paid c. €37m to acquire the former HQ of Irish Nationwide Building Society on Dublin’s Grand Canal from London & Regional Properties (L&R). The sale price is c. €22m above the €15m paid by L&R to acquire the property in late 2013. Before agreeing to sell the property to Hines, L&R had been in discussions with Dublin City Council about seeking planning permission for a second office block of c. 35,000 sq. ft. and 38 apartments. The site extends to c. 1.7-acres. The Irish Times, 16th November

86 – 88 Lower Leeson St: Browne Corrigan Chartered Surveyors is guiding a rent of €55 per sq. ft. for mock Georgian offices currently under renovation at 86 – 88 Lower Leeson Street in Dublin 2. The building is the former HQ of the property fund IPUT and was most recently purchased by the Eric Kinsella, the founder of Espirit Investments Ltd, for c. €11m in 2015. The letting agent has advised that the first floor has recently been let, so it is likely that the remaining space will be let on a floor-by-floor basis. The extended building will have 20,150 sq. ft. of space, with floor plates ranging from 3,090 – 4,327 sq. ft. and is being fitted out to very high specifications. Car spaces are also available to rent at €3,500 per space. The Irish Times, 16th November

Three Park Place: Joint Agents Knight Frank and BNP Paribas Real Estate are quoting rents of €65 psf for Three Park Place, a new office block being developed by the Clancourt Group on Dublin’s Upper Hatch Street. The seven-storey, 135,000 sq. ft. property is expected to be completed by Q3 2017 and will be located alongside One and Two Park Place, previous developments completed by the group. The block will also facilitate 34 car spaces and 142 bicycle spaces. The Irish Times, 16th November

Irish Life Development: Irish Life has applied for planning permission to demolish the former Bord Failte HQ in Dublin and replace it with a six-storey office block. The 1960s building, which is located at the junction of Baggot Street Lower and Wilton Terrace, has been vacant for almost a decade. Irish Life built the original property and then purchased the leasehold interest in 2015. Now the group wants to replace the existing 24,757 sq. ft. building with a 75,347 sq. ft. block. The company is now owned by Great-West Lifeco. The Irish Development, 20th November

1GQ: A large waterfront building on George’s Quay in Dublin 2 is likely to be of interest to financial institutions considering relocating to Dublin following the recent Brexit vote. The newly renamed 1GQ, which was previously Ulster Bank’s Dublin HQ, enjoys a prime location at the gateway to Dublin’s south docks. The existing building will be stripped out and modernised, while a five storey extension to the front of the property will increase the floor area from 110,000 sq. ft. to over 130,000 sq. ft. The refurbished building will obtain a BER rating of A3 and an international LEED platinum rating, and will include 100 parking spaces, secure bicycle parking and 14 showers. The building will be one of the only office buildings available for fit out in Q2 2017 and agents JLL will offer it for letting to a single tenant at €55 per sq. ft.  The Irish Times, 16th November

Cork Development: The Cork-based developer JCD has been refused planning permission for over 200 apartments in City Gate Plaza in Mahon, Cork. JCD had been proposing to develop the apartments alongside a substantial office development which they already have planning permission for. Despite the setback, the developer has re-affirmed their intention to proceed with the office development, which should create over 200 construction jobs. There are over 3,000 employees in City Gate. The Evening Echo, 16th November 



Lynam’s Hotel: A private investor has paid nearly €6m for Lynam’s Hotel on Dublin’s O’Connell Street, which had been on the market through CBRE Hotels for €4m. The 13,800 sq. ft., 42-bedroom hotel, which is located beside the Spire and the GPO, is not trading at present. Given the property’s prime location, the new owner should benefit from the significant footfall from O’Connell Street. A former bank, the property was redeveloped into a hotel in 2001 and includes a self-contained café / restaurant facility. The hotel was put into receivership by NAMA in 2015, and has recently been used by Dublin City Council to provide emergency accommodation. The Irish Independent, 17th November

Bow Lane Hotel: The British hotel and serviced apartment group Marlin has been granted planning permission by Dublin City Council for a new 300-bed hotel close to St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin 2. The €60m hotel is to be located on Bow Lane East, will be up to seven storeys in height and should take c. 30 months to develop. The Sunday Times, 20th November

Blackpitts Hotel: The Sunday Times reports that Denis O’Brien has agreed to a deal which will see Starwood Aloft operate his 202-bedroom hotel which is under construction in Blackpitts, Dublin 8. The hotel, which is being constructed by BAM, should be ready in 2018. The Aloft brand opened its 100th hotel last year and has hotels in London and Liverpool. The Sunday Times, 20th November



Montrose Student Residence: The Irish Times reports that Hines has been chosen as the preferred bidder for Ziggurat’s Montrose Student Residence on Stillorgan Road in Dublin 4. Hines is understood to have bid close to the €41.5m asking price for the property. Ziggurat purchased the former three-star hotel in 2012 and then redeveloped it so that it now has 205 student bedrooms over five floors and 8,363 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial space. The rent roll of the newly completed development is expected to rise to c. €2.91m p.a. The Irish Times, 16th November

Priory Hall: Dublin City Council has sold the first 43 apartments offered for sale in the revamped Priory Hall complex near Donaghmede, North Dublin. The apartments sold within days of going on the market. The apartments achieved over €7m for the council, which has spent over €27m on the complex since it was evacuated under the orders of the High Court in 2011. Work began two years ago on the redevelopment of the derelict 187 apartment complex (which has been renamed ‘New Priory’), and has now been completed on 60 apartments. Prices for the redeveloped apartments started at €145k for a one-bed and €165k – €178k for a two bed apartment. Of the 60 redeveloped apartments, 43 have been sold, nine have been retained for social housing and eight have been returned to previous buy-to-let owners. The Irish Times, 17th November

Student Accommodation Development: An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for a student accommodation scheme in Dublin city centre, following an application by Kesteven, which is owned by former Ulster Bank CFO Charles McManus. The seven-storey development, which will be located on Stephen Street Upper, will provide 284 student accommodation units and will also include retail space. The project will involve the demolition of properties on Aungier Street and Stephen Street Upper. The Irish Independent, 22nd November

Mortgage Lending Rules: The Central Bank Commission is due to review its mortgage lending rules this week, with any changes announced soon after. The commission will be asked to consider proposals to increase lending, especially to first time buyers. Two areas which banking sources believe the commission will look at are (i) the portion of a bank’s loan book which can have loan-to-value (LTV) breaches and (ii) the €220k threshold for the 10% deposit. Currently, a bank may only provide LTV breaches for up to 15% of their loan book, however this may be increased to 20%. The commission may also increase the threshold whereby borrowers only require a 10% deposit, up from the current level of €220k. The Irish Times, 19th November



Kilcarbery Business Park: A large distribution centre in Kilcarbery Business Park, Dublin 22, has gone on sale with a guide price in excess of €15m. The premises was built in 2000 and has since been occupied by Britvic, who purchased the property in 2013 for c. €14m. Britvic has now decided to sell the facility after outsourcing its distribution business. The property extends to 211,130 sq. ft., includes a three-storey block of offices and is situated on a site of 9.83-acres. Kilcarbery is a highly regarded business park and adjoins both the IDA’s Grange Castle Business and Technology Park and also Profile Park. The Irish Times, 16th November

Furry Park: William Harvey & Co. is seeking rents of €510k p.a. (€7.79 psf) for a 65,445 sq. ft. industrial unit near Dublin Airport which will be available to rent from January 2017. Unit K Furry Park is just a two-minute drive from Dublin Airport and includes 11,011 sq. ft. of office space, which is located to the front of the building. The property is situated on a 3.06-acre site. The Irish Independent, 17th November


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