24th March (Issue 239)

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.




Elmpark Green, Dublin 4 Knight Frank and Lisney are guiding €28 million for the Quartz Buiding at Elmpark Green, Dublin 4. The Quartz comprises a seven-storey over-basement office building that extends to 70,320 sq.ft. of net internal area (€398 psf), with 76 car spaces at basement level. The property is fully leased to Willis Towers Watson Insurances (Ireland) Limited on a 20-year lease from July 2015. The current rent is €1,518,218 per annum (€21.60 psf) and is subject to an open market rent review in July this year. A vacant two-storey 10,261 sq.ft. “shell and core” annex building will also form part of the sale and comes with an active grant of planning permission for conversion to office use. The Irish Times understands that Aviva’s plan for the disposal of The Quartz building, on behalf of its Friends First Irish commercial property fund, has been in train for several weeks. The Irish Times, 18th March

Cork City Docklands Work has begun on the development of a landmark new 15-storey office building in Cork docklands which is due for completion in 2021. Known as The Prism Building, it is US based Tower Holdings Group’s first development in Cork city and is located at the edge of the expanding new docklands regeneration area, adjacent to Cork’s Bus Station. Positioned on a triangular shaped brownfield derelict site and with a footprint of only 3,336 sq.ft, the tower will offer 60,000 sq.ft. of grade A, own-floor office space with panoramic views over the city. The building will be one of the first office buildings in Ireland to comply with the new stringent NZEB energy efficiency regulations. The Irish Independent, 19th March

Dublin Office Investment Market Report The BNP Paribas report into the Dublin Office Investment Market for 2019 has highlighted that the office sector accounted for more than 40% of total turnover from an investment perspective in 2019. Some 3.336 million sq.ft. of office space was taken up across the capital in the 12 months to the end of last December. While total Dublin office returns dropped to 5.9% in 2019 from the 9% recorded the previous year, the report notes performance as being “relatively strong when compared with other investment classes” within the context of the continuing low interest rate environment. The growth in popularity of non-CBD and suburban locations, including most notably the Sandyford Business District (SBD), saw these areas emerge as the top performers of the Dublin office market last year. The Irish Times, 18th March

Donnybrook, Dublin 4 Plans to convert a landmark office building in Donnybrook, Dublin, into a controversial high-rise apartment block have been rejected by An Bord Pleanála. The board has upheld the decision of Dublin City Council to refuse planning permission for the demolition of Jefferson House – a five-storey office block on the banks of the river Dodder – to allow for the development of an 11-storey building containing 62 apartments. the board said the project would constitute over-development of the site “by reason of its height, scale and massing”. The Irish Times, 20th March



South Circular Road, Dublin 8 The Sunday Business Post reports that Hines has unveiled its plans for the redevelopment of the former Player Wills-Bailey Gibson site on the South Circular Road in Dublin 8. The project will accommodate 1,347 apartments as well as 15 low-rise, three-storey townhouses which will be redbrick to blend in with the surrounding Victorian neighbourhood. All will be build-to-rent and managed by Hines. Dublin City Council (DCC) has yet to announce its plans for its St Teresa’s Gardens site, which adjoins the Hines site and which will link into it. DCC’s project is expected to bring the total residential accommodation of the area’s urban renewal programme to c.2,000 units. The Sunday Business Post, 22nd March

Sheriff St, Dublin 1 Oxley Holdings has been granted a strategic housing development application by An Bord Pleanála for the construction of 741 build-to-rent residential units. The units will be located in eight apartment blocks ranging in height from four storeys to 23 storeys. The proposed cost of the apartment scheme which is located at the rear of Connolly Station on Sheriff Street Lower in Dublin 1 is €163 million (€220k per apartment). The Sunday Business Post, 22nd March

Shanowen Road, Santry, Dublin 9 Dublin City Council has rejected the latest proposal to double the number of one and two-bed units, while cutting the number of three-bed apartments in a development on the Shanowen Road in Santry Dublin 9. The proposal would have added a net 15 apartments to the development. The Council said the additional units on the site would constitute over-development on the land and provide for a poor standard of residential amenity for occupiers. The Sunday Business Post, 22nd March



Phibsborough, Dublin 7 Knight Frank is guiding €1.3 million for two two-storey, mixed-use terraced buildings at 168-169 Phibsborough Road. The inclusion of a warehouse building and yard to the rear of the site represents a development opportunity for the entire 0.21 acre site (€6.19m per acre). The property is within walking distance of numerous amenities including the Mater hospital, the new TU Dublin (formerly DIT) Grangegorman campus and Dublin City Centre. Reddy Architecture + Urbanism has completed a feasibility study identifying potential residential and student accommodation schemes for the site (subject to planning permission). These schemes consist of a 71-80 bed student accommodation scheme with ground-floor cafe, or an alternative development of 29 built-to-rent apartments with a ground-floor retail unit. The Irish Times, 18th March



Capel St, Dublin 1 An Bord Pleanála has reversed a decision of Dublin City Council to grant planning permission for the development of a 62-bedroom hotel on a 0.2 hectare site that includes the former Boland’s bakery and biscuit factory off Capel Street. The original request had been to develop a 96-bedroom hotel on the site which incorporates a number of protected structures including the Victorian bakery. In the face of considerable third-party objections as well as concerns from council planners, the scheme was reduced in size to a 62-bedroom hotel, while reducing the proposed height of the building from 28 to 15 metres. In its ruling, An Bord Pleanála acknowledged that the plans had been revised and improved the layout. However, it said the overall revised proposal was of “poor design” and did not constitute “an adequate response to the context and opportunity of this urban site”. The Irish Times, 23rd March



Waterford Sherry Fitzgerald John Rohan is guiding €1.5 million for the Crystal Sports and Leisure Centre in Waterford. Located on the Cork Road in the western suburbs, the complex extends to c.27,921 sq.ft. on 2.4 acres and comprises a sports hall, 25-metre swimming pool, sauna, steam room and toddler pool, four conference rooms, a two-storey building incorporating bar and function hall, two gyms, a spinning room and large café/restaurant area. The site also accommodates two external units to the left of the main building which have a separate road entrance and offer further possibilities. The entire property has parking facilities for 100 cars. The Irish Independent, 19th March

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) made a profit of €11.9 million in the three months to the end of September 2019, bringing its total profit for the first three quarters of 2019 to c.€60 million, its latest accounts reveal. The agency is now sitting on assets of €5.4 billion, including cash balances of €3.49 billion and loan assets valued at €1.46 billion. It has accumulated profits of c.€4.2 billion to date. In the first nine months of 2019, Nama’s cash balances were boosted by property and loan sales of c.€732 million and €79 million in repayments from Borrowers whose loans were acquired by the agency. The Irish Times, 20th March

If you have an article which you would like to have considered for inclusion in our next weekly report, please contact us at info@origincapital.ie

Origin Capital funds senior debt transactions in the CRE investment sector, typically in excess of €3m, and has lent over €150m to clients since April 2015.

Origin Capital is a wholly owned subsidiary of LeBruin, a leading provider of corporate finance solutions.

If you would like to discuss how Origin Capital can help with your funding requirements, please contact us on 01 662 9264.