29th August (Issue 111)

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.



119 St Stephen’s Green: Receiver Ken Tyrell of PwC is understood to be close to bringing 119 St Stephen’s Green to the market. The property, which is owned by Peter White, is expected to have a sales price between €4m and €5m. The four-storey Georgian property is currently occupied by the famous steakhouse Shanahan’s on the Green, who will be unaffected by the sale. Shanahan’s have c. eight years remaining on their lease, with no break clauses. The Sunday Business Post, 27th August

Nestor’s Supermarket Group: Joyce’s Supermarket Group is believed to have agreed a deal to acquire the assets of Nestor’s Supermarket Group in Galway, in a deal understood to be in excess of €10m. The assets are being sold under the instruction of the receiver, Grant Thornton. Nestor’s has stores in Father Griffin Road, Oranmore, Ballybane and Doughiska, where they employ c. 190 people in total. The Irish Independent, 27th August

McDonald’s Cork: Cohalan Downing have brought to market a purpose-built McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant which is located in Blackpool, north of Cork city centre. No guide price has been quoted for the property, however it is believed that it will sell for at least €2.5m – €2.6m, a c. 6.3% return based on the rental income of c. €165k p.a. The 3,300 sq. ft. restaurant, which was built in 2000, occupies a 0.8-acre corner site and recently received a substantial refurbishment from the tenant. There is c. 17.5 years left on the 35-year lease, which has no break options. The Irish Examiner, 24th August

Hotel Chocolat: The UK chocolatier Hotel Chocolat is looking to open up to three stores in Ireland. The chocolatier plans to open its first store in the GPO retail building on Dublin’s Henry Street before the end of 2017. BNP Paribas had been guiding c. €175k p.a. for the unit, which extends to 646 sq. ft. on the ground floor with a further c. 1,200 sq. ft. at basement and street level. Stores in Dundrum Town Centre and Blanchardstown are also being considered. The Irish Times, 23rd August



The Exo Building: The Sunday Business Post reports that SW3 Capital is “closing in on a deal” with NAMA for The Exo Building, an unbuilt office block in Dublin’s docklands which will face the East Link Bridge. The purchase price for the property is reportedly c. €120m. It is believed that under the terms of the deal, SW3 will fund the development of the block and assume ownership upon completion. At 73 metres tall, The Exo Building is set to become Dublin’s tallest office block. SW3 is backed by Tristan Capital Partners, a British investment fund. The Sunday Business Post, 27th August

Goodbody 2017 Outlook: The brokerage firm Goodbody reports that 2017 is looking like a very strong year for the Dublin office market. They reference CBRE’s figure of c. 1.6m sq. ft. of take-up in H1 2017, which on its own is 80% of the long-run average take-up per year. H2 2017 also looks promising, with The Sunday Times reporting on the 27th of August that Indeed, the US recruitment company, are looking for c. 250,000 sq. ft. of office space. Goodbody, 28th August



Dublin 1 Hotel: Noel Smyth’s Fitzwilliam Real Estate Properties Ltd has sought planning permission from Dublin City Council for a nine-storey, 365-bedroom hotel at the junction of Upper Liffey Street and Middle Abbey Street in Dublin 1. It is believed that should the development proceed, then the hotel will be operated by Motel One, the German budget hotel operator. There is currently a c. 50,000 sq. ft. property on the site of the proposed 125,000 sq. ft. hotel, which will need to be demolished to make way for the hotel. NAMA Wine Lake, 28th August

Pembroke Road Hotel: The publican Martin Keane, who owns Bloom’s hotel and Oliver St John Gogarty pub in Temple Bar in Dublin city centre, is seeking to develop a new 50-bed boutique hotel on Pembroke Road in Dublin 4. The proposed hotel is still in the early stages, and no planning application has yet been submitted to Dublin City Council. Should the development proceed, Mr Keane has stated that the hotel will be operated by one of his own companies, as opposed to hiring an international operator. The Irish Times, 26th August 

Spencer Hotel Expansion: Spencer Leisure Investments Ltd has sought planning permission from Dublin City Council for 40 new hotel bedrooms and a new conference room for the Spencer Hotel in Dublin’s IFSC. The proposed expansion of the four-star, 169-bedroom hotel will be partly facilitated by way of a seven-storey, 11,000 sq. ft. extension. Spencer Leisure is controlled by John Malone, John Lally, Daniel Sierra Junior and Paul Higgins. NAMA Wine Lake, 27th August



Ashton House: A classical period house located on c. 28 acres of land close to Ashtown Railway Station and the Phoenix Park in Dublin has been brought to the market with a guide price of €3.5m. The property, which was previously sold for c. €26m in 2006, was offered for sale by CBRE on behalf of NAMA over two years ago, however it was subsequently withdrawn from the market as it was hoped that the land would be rezoned to accommodate a residential development. However, this rezoning did not take place, and the estate is for sale once again, and is likely to end up as a private residence, nursing home, wedding venue or equestrian centre. The main residence extends to c. 6,500 sq. ft. and includes 12 large bedrooms, while there is also a four-bed lodge and four-bed gate bungalow on the site. The Irish Times, 23rd August

New Dublin Suburb: The Irish Times reports that South Dublin County Council will shortly publish plans for a new Dublin suburb containing more than 8,000 homes. The new suburb will be located on c. 690 acres of land at Clonburris, which is located to the east of Adamstown on the Dublin – Kildare railway line, and will cater for a population the size of Wexford town. Cairn Homes, the largest landowner in Clonburris, has stated that it would be in a position to start building there in early 2018, and that it could provide homes for less than €300k. Mr Eddie Taaffe, the council’s director of planning, has indicated that the land could generate in excess of 500 homes p.a., providing a steady stream of housing over the next 10 to 15 years. The potential for increased traffic in the area from the development is a concern locally, as there is already severe congestion in Adamstown, Lucan and Clondalkin. The Irish Times, 28th August

Sandyford Residential Application: Receivers Farrell Grant Sparks have sought a pre-planning consultation for the development of 482 apartments on the site of Cork developer John Fleming’s Rockbrook scheme in Sandyford, south Dublin. The plans have been submitted under the Government’s temporary fast-track planning application system, and should the scheme be given approval by An Bord Pleanála, the site should see an immediate increase in value, opening up the prospect of its sale to both developers and investors. This application is separate to the one submitted by IRES REIT to develop 467 apartments at Rockbrook. Should both developments proceed, they would bring an additional 949 residential units to Sandyford. The Irish Independent, 27th August

IRES Rockbrook Application: An Bord Pleanála have today postponed the decision date on IRES REIT’s appeal against the decision of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to refuse planning permission for its 467-unit apartment scheme at Rockbrook. The decision date has been postponed from the 28th of August 2017 to the 2nd of October 2017. The postponing of the decision has been attributed to capacity constraints at board level. Goodbody, 29th August

Inchicore Apartments Application: Wingthorpe Ltd has sought planning permission from Dublin City Council to construct a 19-unit apartment complex on Emmet Street in Inchicore. The new five-storey, over two-level basement building will contain five one-bedroom units, nine two-bedroom units, five three-bedroom units, a ground floor commercial unit and underground car parking. NAMA Wine Lake, 27th August

Permanent TSB (“PTSB”) Mortgage Product: PTSB is introducing a new product for homebuyers which will see the bank reimburse customers with 2% of each monthly payment made, in addition to the existing offering of a once-off cashback payment of 2% of the value of their mortgage on drawdown. The new product will be available to all future residential mortgage customers who make their monthly mortgage payments from an “Explore Account”, and the reimbursement is set to apply until December 2027. Customers who have recently received mortgage approval but who have not yet drawn down a mortgage will also be invited to avail of the new offer, however it will not be available for customers taking out a buy-to-let mortgage. PTSB increased its share of mortgage lending to 10.8% in H1 2017, having fallen to just 2% during the recession. The Irish Times, 25th August



Castlemanor Nursing Home: The Sunday Business Post reports that Trinity Care is set to acquire Castlemanor Nursing Home and a number of retirement units for between €8m and €9m. Castlemanor is a 71-bed nursing home with 29 retirement cottages located outside Cavan town. The purchase price is believed to reflect a 10x valuation on earnings / EBITDA, with an additional €1m for the retirement units. Trinity Care, which is owned by Anne Heraty and Paul Carroll, already owns nursing homes in north Dublin, south Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Cavan. The Sunday Business Post, 27th August

Dublin 2 Commercial Vacancy Rate: New research from GeoDirectory and DKM Economic Consultants has shown that despite being at the epicentre of Dublin’s commercial property resurgence, Dublin 2 recorded a commercial vacancy rate of 18.3% in Q2 2017, substantially above the 13.6% vacancy rate recorded in Co. Dublin generally. GeoDirectory CEO Dara Keogh stated that with the obvious economic recovery and apparent demand for office space in Dublin 2, the 18.3% vacancy rate suggests a ‘serious mismatch’ between the stock that is available and what is being demanded. The research also showed that Dublin 2 isn’t alone in terms of outstripping the national average of 13.5% for commercial vacancies, as nine of Dublin’s postal code areas have vacancy rates in excess of 14%. At a provincial level, Connacht had the highest average vacancy rate at 15.8% in Q2 2017, followed by Ulster at 14.1%, Munster at 13.1% and Leinster (excluding Dublin) at 12.6%. The Irish Independent, 23rd August

International Construction Survey: Enterprise Ireland and Investec have released a new publication which focuses on developments in Ireland’s major export markets, with their latest publication focusing on the construction sector. The survey finds that 45% of respondents have reduced their exposure to the UK since the Brexit referendum in June 2016. While some firms have withdrawn from the UK market completely, many of those who have maintained operations in the UK have adapted their business models, implementing currency and raw material hedging strategies to mitigate against currency risk. While the UK market remains a key market, there is now an increased focus on Continental Europe, the US and Asia. The Enterprise Ireland / Investec Export Market Watch Survey – International Construction, 29th August


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