27th April (Issue 294)

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.




Windsor Motors Nissan dealer Windsor Motor Group plans to sell off some of its regional sites. In a submission to the draft Dun Laoghaire Rathdown development plan for 2022-28, Windsor has asked the local authority to rezone its Bray site from commercial to residential purposes. In a letter to the council, the group’s managing director said that the global consolidation of the motor industry would result in a “gradual move away from smaller sites like the Windsor Bray site and sites formerly shared with petrol filling stations”. The company has 11 showrooms, covering Dublin, Galway, Meath, Louth and Wicklow. The company hired Hughes Planning and Development Consultants to make its submission to the development plan with respect to its 1.2-acre site at Dublin Road in Bray. Sunday Times, 25th April

Henry St, Dublin 1 Chemist Warehouse, Australia’s biggest pharmacy chain, has signed a 10-year lease on the former Hickeys store on Henry Street in Dublin. It represents one of the first significant new lettings in a year when retail has been blighted by Covid uncertainty. The discount pharmacy has agreed a deal on another location in the capital, which is due to open this year, and has plans for more outlets across the country. The chain will pay an average annual rent of €250,000 for the three-storey-over-basement unit at 5 Henry Street, according to the commercial property price register. The store — only its second in Europe — will open in June, according to sources. Its first European outlet opened in the Westend shopping park in Blanchardstown in December. The Sunday Times, 25th April



Leixlip, Co.Kildare Stoneweg SA, the Swiss-based property investor, has acquired Liffey Business Campus, a mix of industrial, manufacturing, and office space across one million sq. ft, plus 58 acres of development land, at the former Hewlett Packard campus in Leixlip, Co Kildare.

In 2018, it was reported that BlackRock Real Estate had joined forces with developer Michael O’Flynn to acquire the former Hewlett Packard campus, for a figure understood to be in the region of €51m. That sale involved a larger 195-acre plot with nine buildings and was one of the largest industrial transactions to have taken place in the Irish market. The vendor, BlackRock Real Assets, declined to disclose the sale price. Before this latest sale to Stoneweg, BlackRock is understood to have sold another portion of the HP site which is located just south of the M4 motorway. Eastdil International and Cushman and Wakefield Ireland were the agents involved in the deal. Irish Independent, 22nd April



CBRE Report Any impact on hotel demand due to a reduction in corporate travel post-pandemic will be more than offset by the greater footprint of international businesses active in Dublin. CBRE estimates that the top ten technology employers will see their footprint in the city more than double in the next 24 months. This will drive visits from international corporate customers and coupled with a rebound in the leisure sector will see demand for hotel rooms remain strong, it predicts. “The factors that drive long term domestic consumer confidence appear strong in Ireland relative to its European competitors,” said Dave Murray, Director CBRE Hotels in Ireland. “Along with forecasted growth in population and high levels of household savings, domestic demand should prove strong in Ireland. From a corporate business perspective, the significant expansion in the size of the office market and the increasingly international nature of the city’s corporate occupiers will sustain corporate demand for Dublin’s city centre hotels into the medium term.” CBRE, Future of Demand for the Dublin Hotel Market, April 2021



City Quay, Dublin 2 The last remaining waterfront development site in Dublin’s docklands, No 1-6 City Quay, has been placed on the market with a guide price of €35 million with Savills Ireland on behalf of Ken Tyrrell (receiver) of PWC. The property extends to about 0.22 hectares (0.55 acres) and is zoned Z5 in the current Dublin City Development Plan (2016-2022), which permits a broad range of uses. Savills believes the building could be suited to an office, residential or hotel development or a mix of these use types. A feasibility study prepared by RKD Architects illustrates the potential of the site to accommodate a 13,470 square metre (c145k sq. ft) office development, subject to planning permission. City Quay is positioned at the junctions of George’s Quay, Moss Street and Talbot Memorial Bridge, within Dublin’s Central Business District. The Business Post, 25th April

L’Ecrivain, Dublin 2 The premises of the Michelin-starred Dublin city centre restaurant L’Ecrivain has been sold for c€2 million following a private treaty sale process. The restaurant, opened by Derry and Sallyanne Clarke in July 1989, has been closed for a time due to Covid-19 public health restrictions. In a statement, North’s Property confirmed that the L’Ecrivain premises has been sold. The two adjoining buildings comprise about 613sq m and are located at 109a Lower Baggot Street. North’s said there was “strong interest” from restaurant operators and investors “looking to continue the tradition of dining in these buildings which have been lovingly developed over the years by the Clarkes”. However, the group said it understood that the property would not continue as a restaurant as it has been purchased by a well-established Irish firm as its city centre headquarters. The Irish Times, 21st April



Housing Completions/ Commencements According to Goodbody Stockbrokers latest BER Irish Housebuilding Tracker, the construction lockdown in Ireland appears to have had a smaller impact on housing completions in Q1 2021 than initially feared. They estimate that c.4,000 residential units were completed nationwide in the first quarter of the year. This represents a fall of 20% yoy and compares to the 33% yoy decline exhibited during the first lockdown in Q2 2020. As a result, Goodbody’s believe that housing completions will be flat in 2021 at 21K units. The reduction in housing starts will result in a flatter path for completions over the coming years, with an expected increase to 23K units in 2022 heavily reliant on completions of apartments currently in construction in Dublin. This still leaves output well below their estimated demand levels of 35K per annum.

Separate data from the Department of Housing shows that commencements continue to be affected more by the lockdowns associated with the pandemic. In the three months to February (latest data), housing commencements fell by 50% yoy and were down by 30% yoy in the latest 12-months. Dublin has seen the largest decline, with a fall of 40% yoy in the twelve months to February 2021. Commencements in Dublin’s commuter counties fell by 34% over the same period, while outside the Greater Dublin Area, commencements were down 21%. Goodbody Stockbrokers, 27th April

Cherrywood, South Dublin Developer Johnny Ronan has secured planning permission for the construction of a mixed-use development in Cherrywood, south Dublin, which will include 198 build-to-rent apartments. The Ronan Group said permission had been obtained from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for the project at Town Centre 3 (TC3), which will also consist of 12,151sq m of office space and 1,431sq m of café and restaurant space. The project will be situated within the Cherrywood development between Cabinteely and Loughlinstown. It will be next to Brides Glen Luas stop and will have motorway access to the M50 and M11, as well as the Dart. Cherrywood is the largest single urban development project in Ireland and will eventually be home to about 25,000 people. The Irish Times, 21st April

Newmarket Square, Dublin 8 Construction works are expected to start in Q3/Q4 2021 on a €90 million build-to-rent apartment development at a site called Newmarket Square, located at the former IDA Ireland Small Business Centre/Newmarket Industrial Estate, Brabazon Place, St Luke’s Avenue and Newmarket Street, Dublin 8. The development includes 413 units, of which there are 203 studios, 136 one-bedroom units, 72 two-bedroom units and two three-bedroom units. There will also be associated resident support facilities/ resident services and amenities and all associated ancillary accommodation in a building of up to six storeys. The Business Post, 25th April

Clonsilla, Dublin 15 Elliott Building & Civil Engineering has commenced works on a €45 million apartment development at Windmill in Porterstown, Clonsilla, Dublin 15. The scheme comprises 211 apartments in four blocks (Block J, K, L and M), including 10 studio units, 68 one-bed units and 133 two-bed units, above an existing basement. Block J is a six-storey block, including a penthouse level, with 46 apartments. Block K, another six-storey block, includes a penthouse level and another 46 apartments. Blocks L and M are interlinked, L-Shaped, part-six and part-eight storey blocks, including a penthouse level with 119 apartments in total. A communal residents amenity space is proposed at ground floor level of Block L-M. The Business Post, 25th April

Marina, Cork Planners have given the go-ahead for a transformative residential development that will see more than 1,000 apartments built on a prime docklands site in Cork city’s golden Marina Quarter. The development at the former Ford Distribution site, on a circa five-hectare parcel of land, bordered by Centre Park Road, the Marquee link road and Monahan Road, is among the most ambitious ever proposed so close to the city. The proposal, by Marina Quarter Ltd, backed by Glenveagh Properties, involves the construction of 12 apartment blocks, some up to 14 storeys in height, targeted at the build-to-rent sector. The land on which the development is set to take place was bought in 2018 by Glenveagh Properties for a sum understood to be in the region of €15m, almost double the asking price of €8.5m. Irish Examiner, 22nd April

Donnybrook, Dublin 4 Planning permission has been refused for a high-rise apartment development near the centre of Donnybrook village in Dublin. Dublin City Council cited the excessive height of the building as its main reason for rejecting an application by development firm Red Rock for permission to construct a 12-storey, build-to-rent apartment complex on the site of the existing Circle K petrol station on Donnybrook Road. The 0.11 hectare site is directly across the road from the Energia Park rugby stadium. The plans provided for 84 residential units, with a cafe and retail unit at ground floor, as well as a residents’ lounge, communal terraces on several floors, games room, co-working space, library, cinema room and concierge services. However council planners claimed the design of the building, at almost 40m in height, would constitute over-development and would have “an unreasonable overbearing, overshadowing and overlooking effect on adjoining sites”. The Irish Times, 26th April

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