28th September (Issue 316)

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.




Johnston Court Shopping Centre, Sligo A shopping centre in the heart of Sligo town has been put on the market by agent Cushman & Wakefield guiding €5.7 million. Constructed in 2007, Johnston Court Shopping Centre is a modern shopping centre situated in the heart of Sligo town centre. With average pre-Covid-19 footfall of about 2.2 million, it is home to a host of well-known retailers including Boots, Elverys, Holland & Barrett, EuroGiant and H Samuel. Twenty-two units at the centre have come to market guiding €5.7 million, in a sale that provides majority ownership of one of the primary shopping offerings in Sligo town. The centre produces an annual net operating income of €669,983, with more than 89% of this income secured against a host of well-known national and international retailers, reflecting a net initial yield of 10.7%, assuming standard purchaser costs of 9.96%. The weighted average unexpired lease term is in excess of 8.7 years. The Irish Times, 22nd September



Mount Street, Dublin 2 Property investor Hibernia Reit has acquired famed Dublin pub Scruffy Murphy’s off Mount Street Lower, in a deal understood to be worth about €2 million. It is not clear what plans Hibernia Reit, which also owns several buildings at nearby Clanwilliam Court, may have for the Scruffy Murphy’s site, but it may target a residential build to rent scheme. Before the pub was acquired by Hibernia Reit, owner Tim O’Connor had plans to knock Scruffy Murphy’s down and replace it with a 36-bed aparthotel above a ground-floor restaurant, bar or cafe. However, this was later blocked by An Bord Pleanála for several reasons, including the negative effect it would have on local residents. The market for pubs, despite Covid-19 restrictions which saw pubs open only in a limited capacity over the past 20 months or so, appears to remain strong – at least in sought-after locations. The Irish Times, 22nd September

Baggot Street, Dublin 4 Property specialists Bagnall Doyle MacMahon last week confirmed that the landmark Wellington pub on Baggot Street Bridge in Dublin 4 has been sold in an off-market transaction for a price in the region of €2.3 million. Pivotally located overlooking the Grand Canal at the intersection of Baggot Street Upper and Mespil Road/Haddington Road, the Wellington occupies a prime corner trading position in this busy office and residential area. The property has been sold by John and Monica Gibney for a price in the region of €2.3 million to new pub group Dunmore, led by John Given. Given plans to conduct a modest refurbishment to exploit the prime trading location of the property. The Business Post, 26th September



Ringaskiddy, Co Cork Fresh to market at a €1.2m guide is the Castlewarren Safety Centre, a purpose-built campus with HQ building and training centre on 1.67 acres used by the fire safety training company Cantwell & Keogh situated in Ringaskiddy. Cohalan Downing says the modern property is adaptable, comprising a main HQ-style office block of 4,500 sq. ft, which is two-storey. There is also a 5,000 sq. ft building for fire training, which includes a reproduction three-storey house and ship deck, bulkhead, and ship-to-shore structures. The site, zoned for industry, has further development scope (subject to the necessary approvals), is close to a raft of pharma plants, while the surrounding land is part of the IDA’s strategic land bank, actively marketed to overseas investment. The Irish Examiner, 24th September



Hanover Quay, South Dublin Airbnb’s European headquarters, located at the junction of Hanover Quay and Benson Street in Dublin’s south docklands, will be brought to the market later this week on behalf of a fund managed by BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Managers (BNP Paribas REIM) at a guide price of €41.5 million. The sale by joint agents BNP Paribas Real Estate and Savills offers the prospective purchaser the opportunity to secure immediate rental income backed by a strong tenant covenant and an attractive net initial yield of 3.73%. The subject property comprises 3,747 sq. m (40,343 sq. ft) of grade-A office accommodation. Number 8 Hanover Quay is let in its entirety to Airbnb Ireland Limited under a full repairing and insuring lease with a full parent company guarantee in place from Airbnb Inc. The next break option in Airbnb’s lease at 8 Hanover Quay is in March 2030, giving the property an attractive term certain of 8½ years, and a weighted average unexpired lease term of 14½ years with the expiry in 2036. The property’s current passing rent of €1.7 million (€454 per sq. m/€42 per sq. ft) offers the buyer a highly reversionary investment proposition within the context of the current Dublin market, where prime offices within the central business district continue to command rents of between €55 and €60 per sq. ft. The next rent review (open market) is due to take place in March 2026. The Irish Times, 22nd September

Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 Agent Mason Owen & Lyons is seeking in excess of €12.5 million for numbers 34 and 35 on Dublin’s Molesworth Street. The two adjoining properties comprise a modern and period building, which extend to almost 14,000 sq. ft with eight surface car-parking spaces. The properties are currently occupied by tenants including the Kingdom of Spain, Miley & Miley Solicitors, and AGFIA Ltd, with an annual rent roll of over €380,000. According to Mason Owen & Lyons, there is scope to enhance the rent by refurbishing and letting the vacant space in number 34. The Norwegian Embassy recently vacated the ground and first floors, and the second floor is also vacant, presenting the chance for a new owner to increase the rent roll to almost €650,000 per annum. Moreover, the property contains the last remaining surface car park on Molesworth Street, which could also be used to extend the existing office footprint. In addition, the two-storey rear section of number 35 could be redeveloped to increase the square footage, subject to obtaining the necessary planning permission. The Irish Times, 22nd September

Merchants Quay, Dublin 8 An office building with a waterside view in Dublin 8 is being brought to the market seeking €23.5 million. Marshalsea, on Merchants Quay, extends to 43,335 sq. ft over ground and four upper floors, and includes 70 car-parking spaces in the adjoining multi-storey car park, accessed from Cook Street. It sits across the River Liffey from the Four Courts and benefits from 27.5m of river frontage. The building is multi-let to nine tenants with over five years weighted unexpired lease term, while the annual rent roll in Marshalsea is €1.45 million, indicating a net initial yield of 5.59%, after standard purchasers’ costs, and a price per square foot of €542. More than half of the income comes from a lease to BDO (sub-let to the HSE) with 6.3 years left to expiry, and subject to an upward only rent review in January 2022. The average passing rent in the building is €31.10 per sq. ft (excluding car parking). The building is now 100% occupied with about 70% of the floor area occupied by State-backed/NGO organisations. The building has potential for further redevelopment with a feasibility study conducted to add two floors to the building bringing the total area to 64,659 sq. ft. The Irish Times, 22nd September

Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2 A Georgian townhouse at 43 Fitzwilliam Square is guiding €3.75 million. The redbrick is currently let in its entirety to Iconic Offices on a 15-year lease from 1st July, 2015 at a passing rent of €172,208 per annum. The asking price reflects a gross yield of about 4.5% for an incoming investor. However, there is a mutual landlord and tenant break option on June 30, 2022 which opens the potential for those interested in conversions back to residential use. Also, No. 43 comes with a 125-foot (38-metre) west-facing rear garden, opening itself up to the possibility of development (subject to the relevant planning permission) into a mews house without the limitations of working around a listed coach-house. The Business Post, 26th September

Harcourt Street, Dublin 2 Dublin City Council has given the green light to US property giant, Kennedy Wilson, to construct a new office campus at St Stephen’s Green with capacity for 3,000 office workers. The offices at Stokes Place at the junction of Stephen’s Green South and Harcourt Street are currently the Dublin headquarters of KPMG. Kennedy Wilson initially lodged plans to demolish the existing five to seven storey block and replace it with a four to eight storey building with 32,101 sq. m of office space. However, after neighbouring law firm, Byrne Wallace and others objected and the city council raised concerns, Kennedy Wilson has reduced the height to seven floors and made other revisions to reduce the scale of the scheme. The Irish Times, 24th September



Clongriffin, Dublin 13 Irish property developer Twinlite and its joint venture partner Tristan Capital Partners have hired real estate agent CBRE to sell two build-to-rent apartment schemes in Clongriffin, north Dublin, which have more than 650 units either built and occupied, or under construction. The price tag is expected to be €300 million plus, with strong interest from pension funds and other property investors expected given the strength of the Irish rental market. The two high-end rental schemes comprise One Three North, which has 376 apartments that were delivered in 2020 in three blocks, and which were all leased digitally on Twinlite’s Vesta platform. Two Three North is due for completion in November although Covid-related delays this year could push this deadline back. It will have 282 apartments when finished. Vesta is currently advertising one-bedroom apartments in One Three North for €1,750, two-bedroom units from €2,100 and three-bedroom apartments from €2,499 with the scheme having an occupancy rate of c95%. The Irish Times, 22nd September

Ferrybank, Co Waterford A strategic site of more than 45 acres, close to Waterford city, has been brought to the market by agent Sherry Fitzgerald guiding €9.8 million. The site at Ferrybank is currently zoned mixed use and is located north of the river Suir within a three-minute drive from Waterford city centre. It abuts the new North Quay €350 million residential and commercial development and train station. Lot one is a plot of some 20.8 acres on the market for €4.9 million, with lot two a similar size, of 20.6 acres, also on the market for €4.9 million. The site is about 1.3km from Waterford city centre, just off the Dock Road. There is also an entrance off Rockshire Road just before Waterford Golf Course, a sought-after address on the north side of the river. The Irish Times, 22nd September

Sandyford, Dublin 18 Seventy apartment owners and tenants at the Beacon One apartment complex have lodged an objection against plans by the Denis O’Brien-controlled Beacon Hospital for a 70 care-bed extension at Sandyford, Dublin. Last month, Beacon Hospital lodged plans for the €75 million eight-storey extension for the south Dublin hospital. The planning application involves the substantive demolition of the eight-storey Beacon Hotel, which the hospital purchased late last year from US billionaire, John Malone’s MHL Collection luxury hotel group. In a comprehensive group objection, the owners and tenants of the Beacon One apartment complex say their complex will be negatively impacted by the proposals. The objection – drawn up by BPS Planning Consultants – states that every property owner in the Beacon One Apartment Complex purchased their apartment on the basis that it would permanently retain existing access arrangements. However, outlining the need for the development, consultants for the Beacon Hospital say it has undergone significant exponential growth, particularly in the last seven years due to the increase in demand across all specialities. The Irish Times, 22nd September

Ardmore, Co Waterford A site in Ardmore with scope to add a whole new street quadrant to the thriving coastal and holiday community is up for sale guiding €1.5m. Locally based estate agent Brian Gleeson is offering a 2.5-acre zoned site in Ardmore on behalf of vendor Russell Perks. Central to the village’s bustling tourism season, it is zoned Village Centre, suitable for a medium density residential development, in the current development plan. The size and scale at 2.5 acres might also allow for mixed development, including commercial/retail/tourism uses. The Irish Examiner, 24th September

Blackrock, Cork A 3.26-acre property in the sought-after Blackrock suburb of Cork City has been brought to the market with a €4m plus guide price. Agent Savills say that with its zoning for residential, local services and institutional uses, it has appeal for residential development or a nursing home. In line with its Convent Road address, it comes with a residential complex extending to 8,870 sq. ft, comprised of 16 bedrooms (including 15 en-suites), a communal kitchen and dining area, a community room, laundry room, and office space. Consequently, a developer could generate short-term income from a guest house, Airbnb, or from co-living rental. The Irish Independent, 23rd September

Naul, Co Dublin A development site at Castle Manor on the Swords Road in the Naul, north Co Dublin, is guiding €1.5 million. The 1.8-acre serviced site has full planning permission for a 110 single-bedroom nursing home and is located within the Castle Manor housing development. Planning permission was granted for the nursing home in July 2020. The site has the benefit of roads and services laid up to the edge of it. The Business Post, 26th September
O’Devaney Gardens, Dublin 7 Plans have been approved by An Bord Pleanála for the €400 million redevelopment of the former O’Devaney Gardens site in Dublin 7. The project for Bartra Property will see the construction of 1,047 units. The breakdown of the housing will be 30 per cent social housing, 20% affordable and 50% private housing. The Business Post, 26th September

Clonmel, Co Tipperary Torca Developments Limited has lodged a Strategic Housing Development application with An Bord Pleanála for a €23 million development in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. The development will consist of the construction of 115 residential units comprising five three-storey blocks with 14 one-bed apartments, nine two-bed apartments and 24 three-bed duplexes; and 68 two-storey houses. The development also calls for the creation of a two-storey crèche, 181 car parking spaces, 366 cycle parking spaces, open spaces, bin stores and ESB substations. The proposal includes new vehicular and pedestrian access and upgrades along the Coleville Road (R680), all associated site development works (including site re-profiling), landscaping, boundary treatments and services connections. The Business Post, 26th September


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