23rd November (Issue 324)

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.




Newbridge, Co Kildare The German investor Union Investment is closing in on the purchase of the warehousing and distribution facility being developed by Penneys in Newbridge, Co Kildare. Union is understood to be in advanced negotiations to acquire the fast-fashion retail giant’s logistics hub for c. €129m. The forward-funding deal would provide Union Investment with a yield of 3.7%. News of Union Investment’s proposed purchase comes just weeks after Penneys secured planning permission from Kildare County Council to develop the logistics hub. Upon completion, the facility will comprise a distribution centre, warehouse and office space extending across a gross floor area of 694,810 sq. ft. on a 38.1 acre site. The Irish Times, 17th November

Yew Grove Reit, Dublin Property investor Quanta Capital is preparing a counter-offer for Yew Grove Reit, whose management has agreed to recommend a rival Canadian bid. The move by Quanta, which owns c. 4.5% of Yew Grove through an investment vehicle, Goldstein ICAV, could spark a bidding war. Yew Grove’s directors said last week they have agreed the terms of a €1.017-a-share offer from Toronto-listed Slate Office Reit. This is worth €127.8m for shareholders and values Yew Grove at €177.4m when debt is included. Quanta, which was set up in 2013, has built a portfolio of warehouses and offices worth more than €800m. It recently went sale agreed on Two Gateway in Dublin’s north docklands. Yew Grove owns One and Three in the scheme. The Sunday Times, 21st November



Clonmel, Co Tipperary A shopping centre in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, is set for auction on December 10th with a guide price of €1.6m. The Ormonde Centre is a modern retail development, comprising a part three-storey, part single-storey development, offering both retail and office accommodation. The property extends to c. 33,810 sq. ft. in total, with significant dual glazed frontage on to both Gladstone Street and the town centre car park. The shopping unit currently has two tenants, with 80% of the floor space vacant, offering significant opportunity to enhance return. The tenants, fashion outlet DV8 and menswear shop 6th Sense, bring in total current rent of €120k a year, with the former on a 15-year lease until 2027 and the latter on a 15-year lease until 2026. The property will be auctioned on December 10th by BidX1. The Irish Times, 22nd November



Common Street, IFSC Property investor Hibernia Reit has appointed JLL to sell the Forum building on Common Street in the IFSC, the former headquarters of German bank Depfa. The real estate investment trust acquired the building for €37.8m back in 2014 from an affiliate of Atlas Capital Group and is looking to secure a buyer for the property, which is currently vacant, at a price below the €37.8m it paid. The six-floor building, built in 2002, comprises 47,109 sq. ft. of office accommodation over two floors above four floors of car park space. At the time of the acquisition in 2014, the total passing rent from the offices, together with 50 parking spaces, was c. €2m a year. A further €675k was generated from 320 parking spaces. These are currently rented by Park Rite, the car park operator. The Irish Times, 17th November

For lending terms on this asset please contact rossmetcalfe@origincapital.ie

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 Blackstone is said to be in pole position to acquire a substantial part of Facebook’s new European headquarters in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. The US private equity giant’s offer of c. €400m is understood to have prevailed in the face of intense competition from a range of parties including Tishman Speyer and Deka Immobilien. It also comfortably exceeds the guide price of €395m set when the investment was brought to the market last September. Should the deal be completed, it would see Blackstone secure ownership of four buildings comprising 339,456 sq. ft. of office space within the wider 900,000 sq. ft. Facebook campus which is in the process of being delivered on the former AIB Bankcentre site. The sale is being conducted on behalf of the Serpentine consortium, a syndicate of private individuals and companies assembled by AIB Private Banking and Goodbody Stockbrokers. The Irish Times, 20th November

Baggot Street, Dublin 2 127 Lower Baggot Street in Dublin 2 has just been brought to market by Finnegan Menton, quoting €2m. The freehold five-storey Georgian commercial premises has been extended at basement level to provide an open-plan nightclub/restaurant premises spanning c. 1,474 sq. ft. and comes with an outdoor patio garden. The upper floors have operated for the last ten years as semi-serviced offices with 11 office suites and a boardroom. Nine of the office suites are currently let on annual license agreements producing €107.5k per annum with two rooms vacant. When fully let, the building will provide a net income after costs of c. €155k per annum. The €2m asking price gives the property the potential to generate a net return of c. 7%. The building extends to a total floor area of c. 4,233 sq. ft., the garden patio has an area of c. 484 sq. ft. and the building comes with three car park spaces. The Business Post, 21st November

For lending terms on this asset please contact rossmetcalfe@origincapital.ie

Baggot Street, Dublin 2 A Georgian office building at 67 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2, is being offered for sale with a €1.7m guide price. The terraced, three storey over basement property extends to 3,875 sq. ft. It benefits from a rear courtyard accessed via Herbert Lane with three car-parking spaces to the rear. It is situated close to the Department of Health. Selling agent CBRE reports interest from investors and owner occupiers. The Irish Independent, 18th November


Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin Council planners have recommended to An Bord Pleanála that permission for a contentious 276-unit student accommodation scheme for Dun Laoghaire be refused on four separate grounds. Earlier this year, Baker Forge Properties lodged “fast-track” plans with An Bord Pleanála for a six-storey development at Baker’s Corner, Rochestown Avenue and Kill Avenue, Dun Laoghaire. The scheme involves the demolition of the well-known Baker’s Corner pub and the construction of a replacement pub and two commercial units along with the 276-student accommodation units. The scheme is facing opposition from local residents, a nearby nursing home, An Taisce and local TD Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit-Solidarity. The recommendation from the council planners strengthens the objectors’ case. The council said the scheme would adversely affect the amenities of adjacent properties due to its overall scale and massing. It also concluded that the scheme would have a detrimental impact on the character of the surrounding area and be visually overbearing and obtrusive. An Bord Pleanála is due to decide on the application in January. The Irish Times, 18th November



Clongriffin, North Co Dublin A site with potential to house one of Ireland’s largest residential developments has come to the market seeking €50m. The opportunity is expected to attract strong interest from developers and investors given the scale of the potential development. The 27.4-acre site in Clongriffin, north Co Dublin, known as “Project Capital North”, is being sold by Gannon Properties and comes with full planning permission for 1,823 residential units, a 209-bedroom hotel, including 20 short-term let apartments, and 1,358 car parking spaces. The site also has permission for 244,642 sq. ft. of commercial space, providing office accommodation and retail space. The Irish Times, 17th November

Blackrock, Co Dublin A site with planning permission for 120 apartments on the Deansgrange Road in Blackrock, Co Dublin, has gone sale agreed. Agent Knight Frank had been guiding in excess of €8.5m for the property which also has permission for four ground-floor commercial units, a café and a crèche over a basement car park. The 1.85 acre site has been occupied by Mooney’s Hyundai dealership. In 2019 Ditton Investments, a company with motor dealer links, submitted an SHD fast track planning application for as many as 151 apartments on the site and parking spaces for 99 vehicles. Burlington Real Estate (BREL) was appointed development manager to deliver the PRS scheme after the site was subject to a number of previously refused planning permissions. While the planning application sought heights ranging from four to six storeys, An Bord Pleanála reduced the permissible levels to three to five storeys and also insisted that one of the commercial units be replaced with a crèche. The Irish Independent, 18th November

Maylor Street, Cork Planning has been granted for the redevelopment of the Hickey’s site on Maylor St in Cork city with the majority of the store to be retained. The plan is centred on numbers 9-12 Maylor St and involves the removal of some of the retail space to provide access to a residential development to be constructed overhead. Developer John Kennedy had initially sought permission for a seven-storey apartment development over the shop, but this prompted concerns about height and massing from city planners. As such, that was revised to six storeys, totaling 32 apartments. The plans propose the retention of 10,553 sq. ft. of the Hickeys Store, with access retained on both Maylor and Oliver Plunkett Streets. The Irish Examiner, 18th November

Kilbarry, North Cork The Cork County Board has put plans for 309 residential units planned for Cork GAA lands before An Bord Pleanála. The move by the Cork County Board is part of a consultation with the appeals board ahead of formally lodging ‘fast-track’ Strategic Housing Development (SHD) plans for the scheme next year. The notice, published by An Bord Pleanála on Wednesday, shows the planned scheme is made up of 197 houses, 112 apartments, a crèche, and associated works for Cork GAA lands on Old Whitechurch Rd, Kilbarry. The planning documentation lodged by the Cork County Board starts a nine-week long pre-planning consultation with An Bord Pleanála. A decision on the scheme by An Bord Pleanála is due in January 2022. The Irish Examiner, 18th November

Social Housing, Dublin Eurostat, a European Commission agency, has warned the Irish state against leasing properties for social housing. Under Dublin City Council’s long-term leasing initiative, landlords can lease their investment properties to the local authority at between 80% to 95% of the open market rent for up to 25 years. The council is also responsible for the upkeep of the property during the lease period. The European body, which monitors how government finance statistics are recorded, said the deals provided no “substantial economic benefits” to councils and significantly benefited property investors who “enjoy most of the rewards”, with the local authority ultimately owning no asset at the end of the deal. The government plans to lease 2,400 homes this year, which are forecast to cost c. €1bn in total over the 25-year term of the deals. Over the coming years, however, the state will phase out the leasing of social homes. Dublin City Council records show that it spent €667.4k to lease homes in 2016. Between 2019 and 2020, the amount being spent on leasing homes increased from €2.6m to €4.6m. According to Dublin City Council, based on the number of proposals due to be delivered during 2021, the estimated rent payments for 2021 for c. 330 units is €6.3m. The Business Post, 21st November

Adamstown, West Dublin The Crossings, Quintain’s first phase of development at its €500m new urban centre in Adamstown, has been purchased by GIC alongside partner Orange Capital Partners for €110m. GIC has secured the forward purchase of 279 units in west Dublin from Lonestar-backed housebuilder Quintain. Construction of the apartments is underway, and completion is anticipated mid-2023. Quintain’s Adamstown project also includes 90,000 sq. ft. of retail space to house two major supermarkets, 20 retail units and five restaurant outlets. Planning permission for a second phase of 185 apartments has been granted and further phases are planned for submission in late 2021 and early 2022. Savills represented Quintain on the sale. React News, 22nd November

Liffey Valley, Dublin A joint venture group involving JP McManus and John Magnier, and Cork property developer Michael O’Flynn is preparing a masterplan for 860 acres situated between Lucan and Castleknock that they believe could deliver more than 5,000 new homes, a large new public park and other amenities. Planning consultants for the trio have already engaged in early-stage discussions with South Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council on a plan to develop the extensive landbank, which is currently used mostly for agriculture purposes. They hope to secure the green light to develop c. 400 acres of the site for housing, with more than 5,000 units envisaged, subject to planning permission. 20% of these units would be offered for social and affordable housing. Under their ambitious plan, c. 265 acres would be set aside for a Liffey Valley public park at Edmundsbury, which would be handed over for community use. If it comes to fruition, this would provide much-needed housing in a sought-after area of Dublin, close to the city centre. It is understood that it could take up to a decade to develop the site. The Irish Times, 23rd November



Real Estate Market, Dublin Dublin is the fifth busiest real estate market in Europe with more than €3bn invested between the end of last year and the third quarter of 2021, according to a new report by consultancy firm PwC and the Urban Land Institute, a US-based think tank. This put the Irish capital on par with Paris and ahead of cities such as Oslo, Milan and Manchester. London came top with €16bn of capital inflows, followed by the German cities of Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich. Institutional property investors have flooded into Ireland over the past decade, taking advantage of strong rental yields. Estate agent Sherry FitzGerald estimates that private rental sector investors have invested c. €7bn into the Irish property market since 2011. The Irish Times, 22nd November

Private Residential Sector, Dublin PRS is now a major investment class, having arrived on the Irish market in 2012 when the earliest transaction in the sector was recorded. Over the last nine years, it has grown to form part of the foundations of the market and has comprised of 22.9% of all investment deals. Despite the challenges created with the global pandemic in March 2020, the sector was resilient throughout the various restrictions on movement in that time and rent collections remained high as government pandemic unemployment payments eased the financial strain on renters. Dublin’s market remains competitive and is an attractive alternative to the cities with more well established PRS markets. The Business Post, 21st November


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