27th February (Issue 436)

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.



St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 The owners of The Shelbourne have agreed a deal worth approx. €230m to sell the hotel. Kennedy Wilson, the US investment fund, confirmed it had entered into an agreement to sell the 265-bedroom hotel, with the deal expected to close by the end of March. It’s understood Archer Hotel Capital is the firm under contract to acquire The Shelbourne. The company did not respond to requests for comment on the value of the deal. Industry sources familiar with the deal indicated the price agreed between the two sides was in the region of €230m. Another source said the deal was worth approx. €900k per room, which tallies with the suggested overall cost. Kennedy Wilson’s decision to sell The Shelbourne has come a decade after it acquired the venue for a reported $110m. Since the acquisition in 2014, it has spent approx. €36m on refurbishment works. The Business Post, 25th February 

Washington Street, Cork Reardens of Washington Street, one of Cork’s biggest pubs, has been refused planning to retain its outdoor seating. KMont Properties Holdings Limited, acting on behalf of Reardens, had sought permission from Cork City Council to retain its existing external seating area and surrounding structure on Little Cross Street. It had also lodged plans to install metal frames and glass panels over the existing development to create a sheltered seating enclosure. The Irish Examiner, 22nd February

MacCurtain St, Cork Leisureplex, the entertainment complex on MacCurtain St, is set to become Cork City’s second Premier Inn hotel. The Whitbread group, which owns the Premier Inn brand, has confirmed that it has purchased the site of the former Coliseum cinema and that it intends to redevelop it into a 168-bedroom hotel, subject to planning permission. The entertainment complex will continue to operate while the planning application works its way through the system. The Irish Examiner, 26th February


Mespil Road, Dublin 4 Bank of Ireland is close to sub-letting almost all of its former HQ at 40 Mespil Road. It recently signed up two new tenants. Azets, an accounting and business advisory firm services, has taken 16,000 sq. ft of offices on the third floor, while Omnicom, a marketing communications firm, has secured a similar footprint on the second floor. Other occupants are Huawei, a Chinese ICT firm, and Crowe, an Irish accountancy and business advisory firm, who previously committed to the fourth floor and penthouse office suite respectively. Agents Savills are now quoting €49 per sq. ft for the remaining space on the ground and first floors which have the advantage of existing fit-outs. The Irish Independent, 22nd February 

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 Located opposite the RDS on Merrion Road in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Glencar House comprises 75,000 sq. ft of grade A office accommodation completed to the latest and highest standards of sustainability. Available to let through joint agents BNP Paribas Real Estate and Cushman & Wakefield, the floor plates at Glencar House range in size from 8,900 sq. ft to 11,890 sq. ft. The building has parking for 41 vehicles, which are enabled for electric charging and 128 secure bike parking spaces. The Irish Times, 21st February



Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 Eamon Waters’ investment and property development company, Sretaw PE, is understood to be among the parties to have tabled bids for the Blanchardstown Centre. Mr. Waters is one of six investors to have submitted first-round offers for the west Dublin scheme, the largest shopping centre in the State. While Goldman Sachs paid €750m to acquire the Blanchardstown Centre, The Irish Times understands the bids on this occasion have come in at approx. €550m. The parties now vying for ownership of the Blanchardstown Centre are Sretaw, Marlet Property Group, UBS, and three US-headquartered real estate investors, namely Hines, Northwood Investors, and a subsidiary of Starwood Capital. The sale of the scheme is being handled by Eastdil Secured and CBRE. The Blanchardstown Centre comprises approx. 1.2m sq. ft of retail space distributed across 180 shops. The Irish Times, 23rd February

Tipp Town Centre, Tipperary Tipp Town Centre, the main shopping centre serving Tipperary town, will go for auction on March 21 and BidX1 is guiding €1.6m for it. As well as offering a 13.04% net yield, it comes with two vacant units and two development sites which would enhance its income generating potential. In 2015 the centre was included in a receivership sale known as The Cornerstone Portfolio of six regional shopping centres which international investment fund Davidson Kempner bought for €117.35m – €2.35m over its guide price. Prior to that sale it had been reported that the shopping centre could be worth approx. €2m. In 2015 it was generating €170k but this has been increased and it is now generating €229.5k in annual rents from a number of tenants which include DV8, Pure Pharmacy, The Carvery Restaurant, En Paris Fashion and a separate car wash. The rent looks set to increase further as a letting deal has been agreed on Unit 3 with Card Factory Ireland Ltd. When combined, the total floor area of the units extends to 18,377 sq. ft including two vacant retail units extending to 2,711 sq. ft. Its two development sites extend to 1.19 acres and the centre also benefits from 308 car spaces and footfall of 1.3m. The Irish Independent, 22nd February



Citywest Business Campus, Dublin No. 4045 Citywest Business Campus is being offered to the market by BNP Paribas Real Estate by way of a sale and leaseback transaction at a guide price of €45m (yield approx. 5.26%). The proposed sale will proceed once Uniphar exercises its option to acquire the property from its current owner, Iput. Purpose built in 2007, Uniphar’s headquarter facility extends to a gross external area of approx. 230,000 sq. ft on a site of 8.8 acres with 260 surface car-parking spaces. The subject property includes three-storey grade A offices to the front of the site overlooking Kingswood Road, which have been fully refurbished. The warehouse and office split is approx. 78% and 22% respectively. The subject property will be sold by way of a sale-and-leaseback transaction with a new 20-year full repairing “green” lease to Uniphar plc. Uniphar will pay an initial rent of €2.34m pa (€10.20 per sq. ft) with a fixed 23% rental uplift to €2.87m pa (€12.50 per sq. ft) in years six to 10. Open-market rent reviews will be set at the end of years 10 and 15 and will feature an investor-friendly collar or maximum decrease in rent of 5%. A tenant break option will be included at end of year 15. The Irish Times, 21st February 

Nexus Logistics Park, Dublin Iput has received planning permission to triple the size of its Nexus Logistics Park at the Cherryhound interchange of the M2 motorway, next to the M50 and close to Dublin Airport. The commercial property investment company, which is the largest owner of offices and logistics assets in Dublin, said it would deliver an additional 12 units at the park, on top of five it received permission for in 2023. The units will have a building energy rating of A2 and a gold rating from the leadership in energy and environmental design, a widely used rating system for green buildings. The Business Post, 20th February

Cootehill, Co Monaghan The owner of a historic Palladian house and 1,000-acre estate in Co Monaghan has failed to bring a challenge to planning permission for an extension of a factory producing milk products for infants next to the estate. John Morehart, owner of Bellamont House, near Cootehill, sought to judicially review the decision of Monaghan County Council to grant permission for an extension to Abbott Ireland, whose facility is approx. 1km from the Morehart property. Along with the expansion of its production facility, Abbott plans to relocate existing water tanks and install four powder silos and a new wastewater treatment plant. The Irish Times, 26th February



Gort, Co Galway Plans have been lodged for a €47m large residential development on the Loughrea Road in Gort, Co Galway. The development will consist of the construction of 234 residential units, over 43,055 sq. ft of commercial floor space, a cafe unit, five retail units, co-working office spaces, senior living communal amenity spaces, a crèche and an activity centre. The development is expected to have a planning decision made in late March 2024. The Business Post, 24th February 

Swords, Co Dublin Cushman & Wakefield is guiding a price of €1.2m (NIY 8.53%) for Archway House, a fully let investment on Malahide Road in Swords. Located in Swords town centre and adjacent to the Pavilions Shopping Centre and Swords Central, the subject property briefly comprises a three-storey mixed-use building of 6,024 sq. ft consisting of a retail unit on the ground floor with offices on the first and second floor. Smiles Dental occupy the 2,245 sq. ft ground-floor retail unit on a 15-year lease expiring in November 2029 at a passing rent of €48k pa. Jigsaw Youth & Mental Health occupy the 2,235 sq. ft first-floor office on a 15-year lease which started in September 2022 at a passing rent of €42.5k pa. The 1,544 sq. ft second-floor office is occupied by Motivational Weight Management on a 20-year lease expiring in August 2035, at a passing rent of €22k pa. The current total rent is €112.5k pa, providing a WAULT of 9.8 years to expiry and 4.4 years to break. The Irish Times, 21st February



Dartry, Dublin 6 Lonsdale, a Victorian residence on Temple Road in Dartry, has been acquired by the Italian Embassy in an off-market sale for its asking price of €7.5m. The imposing redbrick dates from 1884 and offers more than 8,568 sq. ft of living space including a mews and a coach house. It was listed for sale by the luxury home specialist Inhous just over a year ago, having previously been for sale off-market with another agent for a number of years. The Business Post, 23rd February

Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford Waterford County Council has granted planning permission to SE Construction (Kent) Limited for a €22m residential development application in Kilmacthomas. The project will see the construction of 98 residential units ranging from two, three and four bed units. The Business Post, 24th February

Tullamore, Co Offaly Planning permission has been sought by Cayenne Holdings Limited for a €42m large residential development on the Church Road in Tullamore, Co Offaly. The project designed by BDP Limited will see the construction of 204 apartments in a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, café/ restaurant and retail uses, and a childcare facility all contained in several buildings. The Business Post, 24th February

Douglas, Co Cork Plans have been lodged for a €21m residential development at a Site at South Douglas Road, between Rathmore Lawn and Tramore Lawn, Douglas, Co Cork. The project will see the construction of 93 residential units, comprising 76 houses in a mix of two bed, three bed and four bed units and 17 apartments in a mix of one and two bed units and a crèche. The Business Post, 24th February

Ballylinan, Co Laois Laois County Council has granted planning permission to JC Brenco Limited for a €24m residential development application in Rahin, Ballylinan, Co Laois. The project will see the construction of 99 houses and a crèche. The Business Post, 24th February

Poulgour, Co Kilkenny Works are expected to commence in the coming weeks on the construction of the first 21 dwellings and associated site development works as part of a €34m housing development at Castle Oaks in Poulgour. The proposed development by Ormonde Construction Limited comprises the construction of 178 residential units including 72 two-storey three bed houses, eight two-storey four bed houses, 12 three-story three bed houses, 31 one-bed apartments, 49 two-bed apartments and three-bed apartments. The Business Post, 24th February

Kilmore, Dublin 17 Plans have been approved by Dublin City Council for the Land Development Agency’s Oscar Traynor Road mixed-use development. The project will see the construction of 146 apartments and 2 community/culture units. The Business Post, 24th February

Newcastle West, Co Limerick Eureka Developments has commenced works on the construction of the first 14 houses of a mixed-use development. The €21m development comprises 93 residential units, 57 houses and 36 apartments at Churchtown, Newcastle West. The Business Post, 24th February 

Daft Rental Market Report Market rents rose by an average of 6.8% during 2023, according to research. The average increase is down from 13.7% in 2022 and 10.3% in 2021, according to the latest rent report from property website Daft.ie. The average open-market rent nationwide in the final quarter was €1,850 per month, compared with €1,365 per month seen at the outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020. The decline in rental inflation is driven by Dublin, where rents in the open market rose by just 2.6% during 2023, compared with an average increase outside the capital of 10.6%. Daft.ie said the different trends in rent are matched by differences in changes in the availability of rental accommodation. Nationally, the number of homes available to rent increased by 937 between October 2022 and December 2023. Of that increase, 80% was seen in the Dublin area, while almost all the rest was seen in surrounding areas. On February 1, there were just over 2,200 homes available to rent nationwide, up 6% on the same date a year earlier, and the 11th month in a row of YoY gains in availability. The Business Post, 23rd February

Appian Way and Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4 Johnny Ronan has lost an appeal against a six-figure vacant property levy issued over Dublin 4 lands linked to the developer. In 2021, Dublin City Council sought a levy worth €315k from Ronan Group over undeveloped lands it owns on the corner of Appian Way and Upper Leeson Street. Last year, RGRE J and R Appian Limited, a firm linked to Ronan Group, appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála. In its appeal, Ronan Group said it agreed that the site is vacant, but disputed the manner in which the levy was calculated and raised issues with how it was informed about the requirement for a payment. It added that a valuation of the site carried out in 2021 showed it was worth in the range of €3m to €3.25m and this rate should be used to calculate the levy owed. In a new ruling by An Bord Pleanála, it upheld a decision issued by Dublin City Council and ordered the full €315k levy be paid. Ronan Group acquired the site in October 2018 for more than €2.45m. In May 2019, the site was put up for sale for a guide price of €4.5m, which was the value used to determine the vacant site levy owed to the council. The Business Post, 22nd February

Kinsale Road, Cork A development site has just been bought by a successful, home-grown company for an unconfirmed €1m. Marked “sold” — for the second time in recent years — is a site right by the Kinsale Rd Roundabout and flyover. It has been acquired by 1997-founded Cork company EPH Controls, owned by members of the Casey family who also are linked to South Coast Sales. EPH Controls, currently based in Doughcloyne, is understood to have acquired the three-acre site at the end of the Kinsale Road and is drawing up development plans for a new premises. The Irish Examiner, 22nd February 

Douglas, Cork Going publicly to market is 24 acres of zoned development land at Castletreasure, Douglas, located near the Bayly site for 472 homes on 52 acres being currently developed by Cairn Homes, and it’s also adjacent to a site where planning has recently been sought for 580 houses and apartments by Murnane & O’Shea, in a development with a value of up to €200m if planning is granted at the sought density. With a likely value of €300k to €350k per acre and easily capable of taking a density of up to or over 15 units an acre, it’s expected to get strong interest. The Irish Examiner, 21st February 

Lotabeg, Cork The proposed development of 101 homes in Lotabeg, Cork City, has been blocked by An Bord Pleanála. Rebel Abú Limited had been denied permission by Cork City Council for the development, which would be located on a 9.39-acre site in Tivoli, east of Cork City. The site in question is inaccessible from public roads and is currently in agricultural use. It is also on a steep slope, with a drop of 15m, running from its peak at Tivoli Ridge to Lotabeg House, a protected structure on its south. Elsewhere, a separate planned development of 54 new homes on land in Bantry has also been blocked. Aiden McCarthy was granted permission by Cork County Council for the development at Dromleigh South and Sheskin in the West Cork town. But this was appealed by several third parties. An Bord Pleanála has overturned the council’s decision and blocked the scheme. The Irish Examiner, 22nd February

Killinarden, South Co Dublin A prominent housing body is seeking to sell its interest in a major Dublin project to the State housing agency in order to bridge a funding shortfall. The Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance, which has developed a widely-cited model for affordable housing, was due to deliver approx. 400 affordable homes out of 635 units planned at the Foothills in Killinarden in a joint venture with builder Sisk – the largest development Ó Cualann has been part of. But the Approved Housing Body said it was facing a funding shortfall and was now looking to sell its interest in the project to the Land Development Agency. It is understood that the entity is facing early-stage funding requirements across its pipeline of approx. €3.7m, and that approx. €2m of this relates to the Killinarden project. The Irish Times, 23rd February 

Ardee, Co Louth Richmond Homes, the housebuilding arm of real estate investment firm Avestus Capital Partners, has instructed Knight Frank to find a buyer for a site with planning in place for a further 347 homes within the Bridgedale scheme. The approved units comprise a mix of 281 houses and 66 duplex apartments along with a creche and community building, and the subject site is guiding at a price of €7m. Also included in the sale is 8.6 acres of unplanned land which is zoned Objective L1 Strategic Reserve. The Irish Times, 21st February

Ires Reit saw its net loss widen last year as it took a €141.8m charge against the value of its property portfolio amid heightened interest rates. The Dublin-listed company’s loss for the year amounted to €116m, up from a shortfall of €11.8m in 2022, when it weathered an initial €45.6m hit against the value of its apartments and houses as central bank and market interest rates started to soar following an era of ultra-cheap credit. Adding in €96.5m of property disposals last year – including a development site in Sandyford in south Dublin and approx. 200 residential units in west Dublin to a housing association – in an effort to lower its debt burden, the total value of Ires’s assets fell to €1.27bn in December from €1.5bn a year earlier. The company’s net asset value per share fell to just below €1.32 from €1.60 but remains well above the level of approx. €1 at which the shares were trading on Friday. The Irish Times, 23rd February 

Housing commencements, one of the strongest indicators of future housing supply, continued on an upward trajectory in January, according to the Department of Housing. Commencement notices for the construction of 3,357 new homes were received by the Building Control Management System (BCMS) last month. This was an increase of 59% on the number of new homes commenced in the same month last year (2,108 units) and the highest number of units commenced in January since records began in 2015 and since the Celtic Tiger era, the department said. The figures will raise hopes the Government’s Housing for All target of building 33,000 new homes this year can be achieved. Of the 3,357 units commenced in January, 41% were scheme dwellings, 52% were apartments and 8% were for one-off units. Homebuilding across the State rose to a 15-year high of approx. 33,000 in 2023. Recent CSO figures show new dwelling completions totalled 32,695 last year, an increase of 10% on the previous year. The Irish Times, 22nd February

Lucan, Co Dublin TPG Angelo Gordon, along with Carysfort Capital, has completed the off-market disposal of an Irish residential portfolio to the KGAL Core 5 Life fund for an undisclosed sum. The portfolio comprises 104 units in Lucan, Dublin located at the Shackleton Park development. An Article 9 residential real estate fund with a European focus, the fund’s acquisition marks its debut into the Irish residential market. Located in the Adamstown SDZ, Shackleton is a nine-minute drive from several employment hubs tenanted by a number of multinational firms including Intel, HP, Google, AMD, Microsoft, Pfizer, Takeda, GSK and Unilever. The homes were part of a portfolio of 150 homes acquired by Carysfort and TPG Angelo Gordon from builder Cairn Homes in 2021 for approx. €48.6m. React News, 22nd February

Lime Street, Dublin 2 Developer Pat Crean has won a legal row against Johnny Ronan over the freehold interest in a plot of land in Dublin’s docklands. Lime Street GP3 Ltd, a Marlet subsidiary, secured an order in favour of the interest in a plot of land from Ashwalk Investments Ltd, a Ronan group entity. The Dublin county registrar said the case made by Ashwalk was “argumentative” and did not contain evidence which would persuade her. The order came after the court heard a heated row over alleged discrepancies in maps provided to the court. The case concerns the freehold interest in an area known as “Lot 7” which is underneath a residential scheme with over 200 apartments called One Lime Street. Located behind Marlet’s Shipping Office building on the corner of Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, the overall size of Lot 7 is 0.088 acres and its interest is valued at €8k. Last November, Lime Street lodged a case seeking to acquire the fee simple, or freehold, in lot 7 from Ashwalk. The battle for the freehold interest in the site dates back nearly a decade and was at the centre of previously contested legal proceedings between Marlet and Ronan entities. The Business Post, 26th February

Milltown, Dublin 6 The High Court is for the second time being asked to quash permission for hundreds of homes on former Jesuit Order lands in Milltown. An Bord Pleanála approved the 636-apartment scheme last January in a decision upholding earlier permission granted by Dublin City Council under the Large-Scale Residential Development process. Developer Sandford Living, a subsidiary of real estate investment firm Ardstone, lodged its second planning application for the site in mid-2023, months after An Bord Pleanála conceded in a High Court challenge to its previous permission for 661 homes that were mainly “build to rent”. Ardstone’s fresh approval for the former Jesuit lands at Milltown Park, close to Gonzaga College, is for a mix of “build to sell” studios, apartments and duplexes over seven blocks of two to 10 storeys. The Irish Times, 26th February

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