25th April (Issue 93)

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.


Origin Capital finalises €10m of lending transactions. Click here to find out more




Woodies DIY Complex: Offers of €26.5m are being sought by Savills for a Woodies DIY retail complex located on the Naas Road in Dublin 12. The prime, single-let facility will offer an initial yield of 6.95% and currently has c. 12.5 years left to run on its lease. The current rent on the property is c. €1.9m p.a. and is subject to five-yearly upwards-only rent reviews, with the rent also guaranteed by the Grafton Group plc. The building extends to over 61,000 sq. ft. on a c. 4.6-acre site and fronts on to the Naas Road and Nangor Road. The Irish Times, 19th April

Stillorgan Retail / Office Units: Three high-yielding retail buildings and an office suite located near Stillorgan Shopping Centre in Dublin have been sold by agents QRE for €3.4m, c. €300k above the original guide price. The properties, located at 8, 10 and 12 Lower Kilmacud Road extend to 7,167 sq. ft. and are producing a rental income of c. €262k p.a., with a weighted average unexpired lease term of c. 12.7 years. The Irish Times, 19th April

Retail Sales: According to Retail Excellence Ireland (REI), the retail sector has entered a recession, following its third consecutive quarter of decline. The group cites its first quarter ‘Retail Productivity Review’ which is collated in association with Grant Thornton and GfK. According to REI, 15 out of 20 sectors surveyed posted year-on-year declines in sales revenue, with children’s clothing and footwear down 10% and 9% respectively. However, retailers associated with the housing market performed well. Overall January sales were almost 2% behind the corresponding period in 2016, with continued weakness in the January sales due to pre-Christmas discounting starting with Black Friday. In addition, the shift to online sales is believed to have been impacting many retailers, with online shopping often being done through websites based outside of Ireland. The Irish Independent, 23rd April

Former Central Bank Building: Following their purchase of the former Central Bank offices in Dublin city centre for c. €67m, Hines is planning on converting some of the former office space into retail use in an effort to attract international brands. The company is reportedly planning to convert the basement, ground floor and first floor of 6 – 8 College Green into retail space, in a move which will involve replacing the windows and overhauling the exteriors of the buildings. The upper floors will continue to be used as office space. The company is reportedly ‘exploring opportunities’ for the main Central Bank building. The Sunday Times, 23rd April



Carrickmines Offices: Cantor Fitzgerald (CF), acting on behalf of their private clients, appears set to acquire a c. €41m office complex in Carrickmines in south Dublin. The four blocks are being sold by Park Developments. The tenants include a number of shops such as an O’Brien’s off licence and an AIB branch, while other companies renting space include Wind Prospect Ireland, Venus Medical and Getty Images. Based on their April Investment Journal, CF hopes that the investment will generate a return of c. 80%. The Irish Times, 20th April

Infinity Building, Smithfield: The Office of Public Works (OPW) has agreed the lease of three floors in the Infinity Building in Smithfield, Dublin 7, extending to 37,500 sq. ft. The State agency has negotiated a lower-than-usual rent for offices in the area by agreeing to a longer lease period before the first break option. Under the new lease, the OPW will pay €23 psf (which is c. 50% lower than some recent leases in the city centre) on a 25 year lease, with the first break option in year 14 and rent reviews every five years. The agency will also pay €2,500 p.a. for each of the 14 basement car parking spaces in the building. The Irish Times, 19th April

Connaught House Letting: Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) has agreed a lease with the US pharmaceutical giant Theravance for 6,000 sq. ft. of office space in Connaught House on Burlington Road in Dublin 4. The company currently operates from serviced offices on nearby Fitzwilliam Place and has agreed to pay a rent of €62 psf on a 10-year, full repairing and insuring (FRI) lease. The space will allow Theravance to accommodate 60 employees at its new Irish headquarters. The Irish Independent, 24th April

Sandyford Office Complex: Planning permission has been sought for a c. €51m office development located at the former FAAC site on the Leopardstown Road in Sandyford, south county Dublin. The application seeks permission to develop c. 377,000 sq. ft. of office space over four buildings ranging from four to six storeys in height. Sunday Business Post, 23rd April



River House: River House, the vacant former motor tax office on Chancery Street near Dublin’s Four Courts, may be demolished to make way for an eight storey, 249-bedroom hotel. The building was sold earlier this year for a reported €8m, with planning permission in place for an office scheme. However Melonmount, which is linked to Jalaluddin and Mawash Kajani, has now sought permission to develop the hotel, which will include bar and restaurant facilities. Planning consultants for Melonmount advise that the new hotel will be a three or four star property, with Hampton by Hilton, a Hilton Worldwide brand, identified as a potential end user. The development would take c. 18 months to complete, indicating that the new hotel could be in operation in late 2018 or early 2019. The Sunday Times, 23rd April

Liberties Aparthotel: Anthony Byrne has applied to Dublin City Council for permission to demolish the Tivoli Theatre, located on Frances Street in the Liberties area, and construct a five-storey, 298-bedroom aparthotel which will contain a gym and retail space. NAMA Wine Lake, 23rd April



Opera Site, Limerick: The Sunday Business Post reports that c. €160m is to be spent transforming the 3.7-acre ‘Opera Site’ on Patrick Street in Limerick city centre into c. 540,000 sq. ft. of office and retail space. The development will be anchored by new offices for the Revenue Commissioners and their 900 staff, who will be relocated from various office locations in the city. The development of the largest vacant site in Limerick city centre will include the construction of a 14-storey office building on the Abbey river, with other new buildings of between six to eight storeys in height being centred around a new public plaza. It is estimated that 300 jobs will be created during the construction phase, with the new development accommodating up to 3,000 workers when complete. The Sunday Business Post, 23rd April

Galway Houses: Joint agents CBRE and DNG Maxwell Heaslip are guiding c. €3.6m for a portfolio of 20 houses and a small development site close to Galway city centre. The sale includes a terrace of seven houses along the southwest side of Palmyra Park, six of which are four-bedroom units. The remaining units are either two or three bedroom two-storey period units. All but one of the houses is currently rented, with the total rental income at c. 200k p.a. According to CBRE, the resale value of the houses could range from €150k to €300k each. The Irish Times, 17th April

Port Of Cork Site: The Irish Examiner reports that Tower Development Properties, which is controlled by the US-based developers Kevin and Donal O’Sullivan from Co. Kerry, has paid c. €5m to acquire the Port of Cork site in Cork city centre. The paper also reports that the site may now see a “landmark development” of more than €100m, which would extend to 30 – 40 storeys in height and may contain a hotel, office space and apartments. The Irish Examiner, 20th April

Property Prices: The latest property price index from the CSO shows that Irish residential property prices rose by 10.7% in the 12 months to the end of February 2017, with prices rising by 1.5% in the month of February alone. The annual increase was nearly three percentage points higher than the annual rate of inflation recorded in January. The figures show that prices rose by 8.3% over the year in Dublin, with the rate of increase in Dublin city equalling 9.2%. In the rest of the country, property prices rose by 13.2%. The West of Ireland showed the greatest price growth (19.8%), with the Mid-East region showing a more modest growth rate of 9.3%. Despite the increases, the index suggests that overall, prices remain 30.7% off their 2007 peak. The Irish Times, 19th April

D4 Development: Purleigh Holdings Ltd, which is backed by Denis O’Brien, has been granted planning permission by Dublin City Council for a c. €50m apartment development in Donnybrook, Dublin 4. Purleigh’s application sought permission to construct 90 apartments, spread across five blocks. All of the blocks were to be five storeys in height, however in granting permission for the scheme, the council has ruled that the top floor of the fifth block is to be omitted. As one of the conditions of granting planning permission, Purleigh is to pay c. €994k to the council to fund public infrastructure. The Irish Independent, 25th April

Mount Merrion Development: Marlet, through its investment vehicle Balark Investments, has been granted planning permission for a c. €25m residential development scheme next to Oatlands College in Mount Merrion, south Dublin. The application for 63 houses and apartments was granted permission despite 79 objections being lodged. The Sunday Business Post, 23rd April

North Dublin Development: Carnamadra Ltd, a Longford-based property company controlled by the Callery family, has applied to Dublin City Council for permission to demolish 90,000 sq. ft. of warehouses at the corner of Swords Road and Santry Avenue in north Dublin and replace them with a c. 300,000 sq. ft. residential development. The new development will contain five blocks which will provide a total of 137 apartments, consisting of 24 one-bed, 88 two-bed and 25 three-bed units in blocks of up to five storeys. The development will also contain c. 120,000 sq. ft. of commercial space (shops, offices and a crèche) and underground parking for 122 cars. NAMA Wine Lake, 23rd April

Social Housing Sites: The National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) is seeking bids for the development and operation of six social housing sites which will contain up to 560 units in total. The project, which is the first PPP bundle in the Government’s social housing programme announced as part of Budget 2015, will involve the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of six developments in Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Louth. The number of units per site will reportedly range from 50 to 150, with the project expected to run for 25 years. The Irish Times, 19th April

CSO Census 2016 Property Figures: The CSO has released a report on housing in Ireland based on figures from Census 2016. The figures show that home ownership in Ireland fell from 69.7% in 2011 to 67.6% in 2016, the lowest level since 1971. The age breakdown showed that renting was more common than owning before the age of 35, compared with an equivalent age of 32 in 2011 and 28 in 2006. With regard to the country’s changing demographics, the CSO found that there was a drop of 83,000 in the number of households headed by people under the age of 35, compared to a 131,000 increase in the number of households headed by people over 35, with older households (over 65) accounting for c. 50% of this increase. In terms of rental increases, statistics showed that the average weekly rent paid to landlords in April 2016 was €199.92, up 16.8% on the Census 2011 figure. For the first time, apartments are now the most common housing type in Dublin, accounting for over 35% of total units (compared with 12% for the entire country). The number of vacant dwellings in the country decreased by 15% from 2011, with a total of 245,560 vacant dwellings in the state. The Sunday Business Post, 20th April



Baldonnel Development: An Bord Pleanála has given the go ahead to Mountpark Logistics EU to develop a c. €40m logistics and industrial hub at Baldonnel in south Dublin. The scheme, which is being billed as the largest speculative logistics development in Ireland, will generate 150 construction jobs and upon development, the occupying companies should generate a further 850 positions. The new hub will consist of several units for logistics and warehouse use, ranging in size from 117,000 sq. ft. to 236,000 sq. ft., with the development’s total ground floor area extending to 353,000 sq. ft., including 17,000 sq. ft. of ancillary office space. The developer, Mountpark Logistics EU, is a joint venture between UK-based Mountpark and the USAA Realco Company of America, which specialises in building logistics centres. The Irish Independent, 21st April


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 the €3m – €15m range. If you would like to discuss how Origin Capital can help with your funding requirements, please contact us on 01 662 9264.

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