28th March (Issue 390)

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.



Blackrock, South Co Dublin Having paid €68m in 2015 to acquire the Frascati Centre in Blackrock, and a further €80m on its renovation and extension since then, Invesco Real Estate is quietly seeking a buyer for the south Dublin retail scheme. The proposed disposal carries a value of €100m, according to market sources, and is being handled by Eastsdil Secured in a targeted process which has been ascribed the codename Project Bay. The Blackrock property currently comprises approx. 177,000 sq. ft of retail space and 43,000 sq. ft of residential accommodation distributed across 42 apartments. The scheme is generating an annual rent roll of €6.9m, with the retail and residential elements accounting for €5.4m and €1.5m of this income respectively. More than 60% of the Frascati Centre’s current income is being driven by the scheme’s grocery anchors, Marks & Spencer and Aldi, along with the existing 42 rental apartments, all of which are occupied, and 555 car-parking spaces. The development’s 45 retail units underwent a €30m extension and refurbishment programme between 2018 and 2019 and are 95% occupied. The Irish Times, 22nd March

Drogheda, Co Louth Developed at a cost of €120m in the early 2000s, SouthGate is a purpose-built mixed-use scheme comprising 57,350 sq. ft of retail space, 93,600 sq. ft of office and retail accommodation, 64 apartments and 730 car spaces. The subject property is being offered to the market by Colliers at a guide price of €31.5m (NIY 6%). The retail portion of the development accounts for 17% of the overall annual rental income of €2.47m pa. The majority of the rent roll is derived from SouthGate’s offices (44.5%) and residential rental units (38%). The offices at SouthGate have a strong tenant base, with the HSE, Tusla and Coca-Cola accounting for approx. 90% of the annual rental income. The HSE holds two leases for 15 years from June 2022 and December 2017 respectively, at a combined rent of approx. €360.6k pa. Tusla, the State-backed child and family agency, has a 10-year lease from July 2019 at a rent of €172k annually. The WAULT on the commercial element at SouthGate is 5.68 years to break and 7.89 years to expiry. The residential element of the scheme currently comprises 64 units, with a mix of 11 one-beds, 40 two-beds and 13 three-beds with average rents for the one-beds at €1,025 per month, two-beds at €1,224 per month and three-beds at €1,423 per month. The Irish Times, 22nd March
For lending terms on this asset please contact rossmetcalfe@origincapital.ie



iNua Hospitality has engaged CBRE to advise on a refinancing of its borrowings. The company’s current facilities, with non-bank lender Garrison Earlsfort, are due to expire this summer. It is understood that the company owes approx. €66m and faces an annual interest bill of more than €5m. iNua owns Radisson Blu hotels in Cork, Limerick and Athlone, the Muckross Park in Killarney, the Hibernian in Kilkenny and Hillgrove in Monaghan. The company says revenues for 2022 were €64.5m, up 16% on 2019, which was the last full year of trading. It posted EBITDA of €11.3m. The Sunday Times, 26th March

Milford, Co Donegal Mulroy Woods Hotel, Milford, Co Donegal, has been sold as a going concern to an investor whose portfolio includes a number of Irish hotels. The Kellys bought it 10 years ago when it was trading as Milford Inn. They refurbished it and offered 45 contemporary bedrooms as well as the Oak Lounge, Harper 39’s Restaurant and the traditional ‘Wee Bar’ together with the Glashagh Suite and The Mulroy Suite. According to market sources, the sale price may have been approx. €3m. The Irish Independent, 23rd March

Howth, Co Dublin The Abbey Tavern in the seaside village of Howth, Co Dublin has been sold. The pub has been acquired by a business consortium headed up by property investor and developer Daniel Givens. While the price paid has not been disclosed, the pub is understood to have secured approx. €2m, or approx. 14% above the €1.75m that Bagnall Doyle MacMahon had been guiding last September. The subject property is part two-storey and part three-storey interconnecting traditional stone-clad buildings, extends to a total area of 8,374 sq. ft and comprises a traditional bar, restaurant and entertainment venue. The Irish Times, 22nd March

Oranmore, Galway The four-star Maldron Hotel in Oranmore, Co Galway has been sold to a private Irish investor for approx. €13m. The hotel includes 113 bedrooms, conference facilities, a leisure club, and swimming pool, and is leased and operated by Dalata Hotels under the Maldron brand. The hotel is situated in a highly accessible location and is close to several of Galway’s business and industrial parks. The Irish Times, 28th March



Bray, Co Wicklow Oakmount is seeking tenants for the two remaining retail units at Bray Central, the 270,000 sq. ft mixed-use scheme it has developed in Bray, Co Wicklow. The new centre is set to be anchored by retail giants Penneys and Sports Direct. Oakmount has also completed the restoration of three period houses to the rear of Bray Central on Eglinton Road and these properties will be offered for sale soon. The developer has also submitted a planning application for 25 apartments on the top floor of Bray Central. The final retail units range in size from 1,000 sq. ft to 7,500 sq. ft and are available to let through joint agents Savills and Time Retail Partners. The Irish Times, 22nd March


St Margaret’s, Co Dublin Harvey has been instructed as the sole letting agent of the Glan Aris facility, located in FoodCentral, St Margaret’s in north Co Dublin close to Dublin Airport. The modern, industrial/storage and office facility extends to 41,365 sq. ft. on a larger than average site. The site comes with 113 car spaces. The Glan Aris facility is being offered to let at a rent of €415k pa. It is available for immediate occupation. The Business Post, 25th March



Sandwith Street Upper, Dublin 2 KBC bank is seeking to assign the leasehold interest on its principal office in Dublin city centre. Extending to 70,000 sq. ft, the subject property occupies a high-profile position at the junction of Sandwith Street Upper and Hogan Place. The Irish Times, 22nd March



Dundrum Portfolio A €140m Dublin residential portfolio has been launched for sale by Brookfield, with the process marking the first major disposal from its recently acquired Hibernia platform. CBRE has been instructed to sell Wyckham Point and Dundrum View by Brookfield, with the sale offering a blended NIY just above 4%, sources said. The assets are available as a portfolio or individual lots, although the market expectation is two separate buyers will likely emerge. Wyckham Point, with a guide price of approx. €100m, offers 213 apartments in affluent Dundrum. Meanwhile, Dundrum View has 80 homes and a price tag of €80m. The passing rents at both assets – approx. €1.65k per month for a one-bed and €2k for a two-bed are approx. 20% below estimated rental values for the area. React News, 23rd March
For lending terms on these assets please contact rossmetcalfe@origincapital.ie

Swords, Co Dublin Located on the Rathbeale Road and less than 2km from Swords village and 5km from Dublin Airport, a landbank in Swords extending to 62 acres and zoned entirely for residential development is being offered to the market by way of public tender through CBRE. According to market sources, the holding could achieve approx. €46.5m (€750k per acre). The site is zoned entirely for residential development under the terms of the Fingal County Council Development Plan. The Irish Times, 22nd March

Fairview, Dublin 3 A major new development costing over €300m will see more than 800 apartments built on hospital grounds in Fairview in Dublin 3, as well as the construction of a state-of-the-art mental health facility. A planning application is set to be submitted to Dublin City Council for the project, which is being developed by Royalton Group, a British property development firm, in partnership with the board of St Vincent’s Hospital Fairview. The new hospital, which is expected to cost approx. €50m to build, will have capacity for up to 73 single en-suite bedrooms once fully completed. In order to fund this project, the hospital board will transfer approx. 13 acres of undeveloped land on the campus to Royalton, which plans to construct over 800 residential apartments at a cost of approx. €250m. The Business Post, 26th March

Strategic Housing Development (SHD) An Bord Pleanála has dissolved its Strategic Housing Division, the unit within the planning body that oversaw the controversial fast-track housing scheme. Under the SHD system, more than 85,000 homes have been granted planning permission. Legal challenges have been taken against applications connected to more than 23,000 of those units. As a result of the legal challenges, An Bord Pleanála’s legal costs increased significantly. In 2020, its legal fees more than doubled to €8.2m and it paid out more than €4.2m in 2021 to cover costs of parties who brought challenges against planning decisions. The Business Post, 22nd March

Kilmeaden, Co Waterford Glanbia Estates Ltd is selling a 198-acre non-residential farm in Waterford which has potential to accommodate a renewable energy farm. Located to the rear of the former Kilmeaden cheese factory and situated approx. 1km from the M9 Waterford to Dublin motorway and 6km from Waterford city, it is guiding a price of €2.75m (€13.89k per acre). The Irish Independent, 23rd March

Balbriggan, North Dublin The Land Development Agency has received permission from An Bord Pleanála to develop a €290m residential scheme in Balbriggan, north Dublin. The Castlelands Strategic Housing Development will transform a 63-acre site, delivering 817 residential units including 414 flats, 377 houses and 26 duplex units across buildings ranging from two to six storeys. The LDA intends to sell 164 homes – 20% of the residential units – to Fingal County Council for social housing for €58m, after the project received opposition from social housing advocates. React News, 24th March

Skerries, North Co Dublin An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission to the Land Development Agency (LDA) for a 345-unit scheme for Hacketsown, Skerries, in north Dublin. The LDA can now proceed with the construction of 84 one-bed units, 104 two-bed units and 157 three-bed units in eight blocks ranging from two to four storeys in height. The LDA is to allocate 70 of the units for social and affordable housing. The Irish Times, 27th March

Balbriggan, Co Dublin An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for a new “car-dependent” SHD scheme with 127 residential units for a site near Balbriggan after a developer failed to allow for adequate pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. The appeals board refused planning permission for the scheme – made up of 65 houses and 62 duplex units – after Fingal County Council had already recommended that planning permission be refused on five separate grounds. The Irish Times, 27th March

Ballincollig, Co Cork Elements of the second leg of a challenge to 2020 permission for 123 apartments in Co Cork have been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). In a ruling on Friday, the High Court’s Mr. Justice Richard Humphreys proposed to ask the European court to determine three complex legal questions regarding the level of information a developer must obtain about species that might be affected by a proposed development. The questions relate to requirements under the EU’s Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. The first module of the Waltham Abbey Residents Association’s case, involving domestic law points, failed in the Supreme Court. The Irish Times, 24th March

Baldoyle, North Dublin An Bord Pleanála has refused planning permission for more than 1,000 homes planned for Baldoyle in north Dublin. The appeals board refused permission for SHD plans by Lismore Homes Ltd for 1,007 apartments after concluding that the scheme would result in an excessive scale, bulk, and massing at the interface with a greenbelt. Lismore Homes planned to build 16 blocks between four and 12 storeys on the Stapolin site which is also located 250m from the Dublin-Belfast railway line. The proposed scheme was to integrate with permitted housing schemes in the area with an overall total of 2,202 residential units approved by An Bord Pleanála. The Irish Times, 23rd March

Coolquay, Co Dublin An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission to Breffni Asset Holdings Ltd for 173 residential units for Coolquay Common, The Ward, on a site near the Co Meath border. In its decision the appeals board had regard to the rural settlement strategy of the Fingal Development Plan which states that future growth in commuter villages, including Coolquay, should be curtailed or safeguarded so that they do not act as a catalyst to facilitate unsustainable growth patterns. The Irish Times, 23rd March

University College Dublin (UCD) is to begin talks with landlords to rent accommodation for students who will be unable to get places in university-owned accommodation from next September. The action is being taken partly because of fears that the housing crisis could prevent many students from applying for the State’s biggest universities because they are unable to get places to stay, or unable to pay for available places. The university’s own stock of 4,100 beds in university halls – which has been added to significantly in recent years – are currently full, though applications for the next academic year will open next month, with CAO beds held in reserve for applicants in August. The short-term solution comes as Higher Education Minister Simon Harris this month announced a €40m State investment to pay for 405 student beds in Dublin City University, with similar projects in the pipeline for UCD, Trinity and University College Cork under the Housing For All strategy. The Irish Times, 23rd March

Waterford South East Technological University (SETU) has reached an agreement to purchase 20 acres of the former Waterford Crystal site to enable expansion of the university in Waterford. The land is directly adjacent to the existing SETU campus in the city. The announcement was made by Simon Harris, the minister for further and higher education, research, innovation and science. The Business Post, 27th March

Residential Development Industry Sentiment Survey 2023 According to a survey by BDO, 57% of developers in Ireland have postponed new residential developments due to challenges in the construction industry. The primary challenges facing the industry are planning processes, the availability of skilled labour, the increase in the cost of materials, rising interest rates and the availability of serviced and zoned land. In terms of government supports, 50% of respondents believe that the Help to Buy Scheme will have the greatest positive impact on supply, while 24% reported that the First Home Scheme was the most impactful. Additionally, 78% of first-time buyers are availing themselves of these schemes. BDO Report, 26th March

Housing Construction A report compiled for the Irish Cabinet has found that the government has the potential to build at least 60,000 “affordable” homes on public lands in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Galway, which would make significant inroads into the country’s housing crisis. However, the report warns that unlocking state property for housing still faces big hurdles, with state agencies possibly refusing to vacate land. Sites identified in Dublin include Horseracing Ireland land at Leopardstown, land at the Central Bank mint in Sandyford and CIÉ’s bus depot at Conyngham Road near the city centre. The LDA expects to provide 6,000 new homes by 2026 under the Project Tosaigh initiative, with planning approval for another 1,865 homes being awaited. The Irish Times, 28th March



Planning System Reform The Government has been urged to delay a long-awaited overhaul of the planning system, after senior planners found key parts of the new regime were “unworkable”. The intervention by the Irish Planning Institute (IPI), which represents more than 1,000 private and public sector planners, has called into question sweeping new laws which are supposed to accelerate building in the face of the worsening housing crisis. With the delivery of thousands of new homes on hold because of planning and court delays, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien published draft laws in January in a bid to streamline the system. The legislation includes contentious measures to bar residents’ associations from taking judicial review cases in the High Court against planning decisions. It will also introduce fines for breaches of new mandatory planning deadlines. The IPI expressed serious concern about proposals to restrict access to judicial review proceedings for unincorporated bodies such as residents’ associations. The IPI also questioned measures to remove the right of a third party to seek a declaration from a planning authority that a development was or was not exempt from the requirement to seek planning permission. The Irish Times, 27th March

Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) Data Mortgage activity in the State’s housing market fell sharply in February with both the number of home loans approved and the value of mortgages dropping as aspiring homeowners and lenders adjusted to a new climate where interest rates had risen to 3% and there was increasing uncertainty about job security, especially in the tech sector. According to the BPFI, approx. 3,378 mortgages were approved last month, down 8.6% on the previous month and 13.3% on the same month last year. The aggregate value of those approvals came to €945m, down approx. 7% on the previous month and 8.1% in YoY terms. Despite the dramatic slump in loan volumes and the fall in overall value, the average loan size in February according to the BPFI data was approx. €291.5k, 6.7% more than in the same month last year. The Irish Times, 25th March


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