2nd August (Issue 358)

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.




Dublin Landings The Korean owners of a prime Dublin office block are considering a €120m sale of the asset, according to React News. CBRE and Savills have been lined up to handle the disposal of 2 Dublin Landings, a trophy asset located in the city’s coveted North Docks district. The sale could be launched post-summer, although timing will likely be dictated by market sentiment.
The building was bought by KanAm Grund, on behalf of Hana Financial Investment and JR AMC, for close to €105m in 2018. Developed by Ballymore and Oxley Holdings, the eight-storey, 100,000 sq. ft. building was let to WeWork on a 20-year lease with no break options. The long lease in place is expected to attract significant interest from overseas capital and European fund managers, with WeWork’s covenant now also back en vogue among investors. React News, 27th July

Cumberland Street, Dublin 2 Twitter is to scale back its office space in Dublin and several other cities globally. The social media giant occupies four floors at 1 Cumberland Street and is now seeking to lease out one of the floors to a new tenant. The company said in an email sent to employees that the move will not affect their jobs with some staff moving to a working from home model. Twitter had over 7,500 staff as of the end of last year. The company will also reduce the size of its offices in San Francisco, New York and Sydney, with plans to close several other offices following lease expiries including those in Seoul, Wellington, Osaka, Madrid, Hamburg and Utrecht. Bloomberg, 27th July

Kildare Street, Dublin 2 Dentons, the law firm, has signed a long-term lease for a new office in a recently restored building on Kildare Street in Dublin city centre. The firm signed the 15-year lease, which will see it take over 19,000 sq. ft. at 20 Kildare Street, with developer Kennedy Wilson earlier this month. It is currently working from its office in Joshua House on Dawson Street but hopes to be in the new building by the end of this year. Annual rent on the property was described as “north of €60” per sq. ft. The Business Post, 30th July



Carrickmines Park, Dublin Iput Real Estate has let more than 35,000 sq. ft. to two tenants at the Iveagh Building at Carrickmines Park, Dublin. The HSE has taken a 15-year lease for 33,000 sq. ft. across two floors of the property to expand their Slainte Care model, with Thérapie Clinic expanding its existing presence with a new 2,500 sq. ft. letting in addition to its fertility clinic at the site. Fit-out is already underway, with occupancy to take place in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter of 2021, Iput continued its €7m investment programme at Carrickmines Park. The office and logistics landlord will continue investing in the asset this year by adding a new amenity building, an additional café and more public restrooms. React News, 27th July

Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) Developer Johnny Ronan will retain control of 12 prized property assets after his real estate company closed a refinancing deal to repay a €142m loan. RGRE closed the deal, which will involve a consortium of Bank of Ireland and AIB providing refinancing to repay M&G Investments, it’s creditor. Fortress Investment Group, a US-based investment management firm which is ultimately owned by the Japanese investment giant SoftBank, will stay on as junior lenders in the refinancing deal. The debt relates to a €145m loan that RGRE took from M&G Investments in 2015, which helped fund its exit from the National Asset Management Agency. The Business Post, 30th July



Self Storage Units, Ireland A US real estate company is investing close to €125m in U Store-it, Ireland’s biggest self-storage company. Heitman, which has €51bn in AUM worldwide, will purchase U Store-it’s existing self-storage portfolio of six units and develop another four. The deal involves Heitman paying over €104m to purchase U Store-it’s sheds in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Waterford. Heitman will pay another €20m for four development assets in Dublin and Belfast, documents filed with the Companies Registration Office show. The Sunday Times, 31st July



St James’s Gate, Dublin 8 Irish property developer Ballymore has submitted a planning application to Dublin City Council to develop a 12.5 acre site that currently forms part of Diageo’s St James’s Gate brewing campus in Dublin 8. Called the Guinness Quarter, the plan includes 336 housing units, a hotel, a 300-seat performance space, a food hall and marketplace, commercial works spaces and more than two acres of landscaped public spaces. There would also be provision for 2,000 bicycles. A separate application has already been submitted to repurpose Brewhouse 2 on the site into a new Irish headquarters for Diageo. The application states that the scheme would include homes to buy and rent, and social housing possibly with the Iveagh Trust as a partner. The Irish Times, 29th July

Housing Crisis, Ireland The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) fears fallout from the war in Ukraine will hit its efforts to combat the Republic’s housing crisis. The State agency has backed or enabled the construction of 25,204 homes on sites it controls or which belong to its debtors, as part of the Government’s efforts to tackle the accommodation squeeze. In a letter to Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, Nama says it is concerned at the impact of the inflation that stemmed from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on plans to build new homes on the agency’s sites. The war sparked a surge in energy and raw materials prices, further accelerating already-increasing building costs. The Irish Times, 28th July

Housing Completions, Ireland The number of new homes completed in the second quarter of 2022 was 53.4% higher than the same period last and year and 58.5% ahead of the second quarter of 2019, before the pandemic. Apartment completions in Dublin, which has seen a large increase in investment for build-to-rent units, were mostly responsible for the increase, Central Statistics Office (CSO) data indicates. 7,654 new homes, the highest number since records began in 2011, were built between April and June 2022, up from 4,490 over the same period last year when the construction sector remained heavily constrained by public health restrictions. It also represents a sharp 58.5% increase ahead of the April to June period in 2019. Of the total number of new dwellings completed in the second quarter, 3,905 (51%) were housing scheme units, 2,415 (31.6%) were apartments and 1,334 (17.4%) were single houses. Dublin saw the largest increase (78.6%) in housing output over the 12 months to the end of June. Seven out of eight regions saw an increase in housing output over the period. Only the southeast, where completions fell 9.2% in the year to the end of June, registered a decline. The Irish Times, 28th July

Kilcock, Co Kildare Strong bidding was seen at a recent auction when 80 acres of unzoned land with development potential near the town of Kilcock on the Meath-Kildare border sold for well over its guide price. Auctioneer Will Coonan had been guiding more than €1.5m for the land parcel and bidding opened at €1.35m before it petered out at €2.15m. That equated to €26,875 per acre which is not alone well over the guide of €18,750 per acre, but more than double the average price of agricultural land in the region. A Sherry FitzGerald survey of land prices in the first quarter of this year showed values were highest in the mid-east region of Ireland, which includes Kildare and Meath, where they average €11,550 per acre. Located at Newtownmoyaghy, the 80-acre parcel adjoins the Kilcock Environs development boundary and has 875m of frontage along the Moyglare Road, as well as frontage along the Rye River. The Irish Independent, 28th July

Development Land Market According to Lisney, prices for development land are falling and the pace of their decline has accelerated due to the combination of construction cost inflation and borrowing costs. However, the development land market in the greater Dublin area (GDA) performed reasonably well in the first half of this year with 36 deals valued at a total of more than €260m. Two deals accounted for almost half of the €260m turnover and the most valuable of those was Glenveagh’s sale of 5.2 acres at 1-4 East Road in Dublin 3. It was acquired by Eagle Street Partners Group for over €60m. IPUT paid the second highest price, buying 118 acres with commercial potential at Killamonan Business Park in west Dublin for over €50m. Most of the deals were in the sub-€5m lot size category with 24 sales accounting for c. 22% of the total turnover. The shortage of logistics and industrial accommodation caused an upsurge in demand for industrial zoned land and consequently these lands in north Dublin saw prices more than double from c. €100k per acre three years ago to c. €450k per acre in the first half of this year. The Irish Independent, 30th July

The University of Limerick (UL) has told staff that the development of its landmark city campus is to proceed without any “substantial” physical expansion of the building it is housed in, which was derelict for 15 years until earlier this year. The news comes as doubts persist over the university’s plans for the campus following the failure of its application to the government for an €87m state grant to develop the former Dunnes Stores site near Sarsfield Bridge, which it purchased for €8m in 2019. UL is currently attempting to come up with a new plan for the site, which forms a key part of wider plans to develop a “world class waterfront” in the city. The Business Post, 29th July

Housing Construction, Dublin According to market sources, c. 400 social, affordable purchase, and cost rental homes have been approved for the first phase of housing in the new west Dublin suburb of Clonburris. Construction is expected to start early next year on the first of two developments recently approved by South Dublin county councillors. The two schemes, Grand Canal Extension and Kishogue, will be the first developed by the council on its landholding in the new Clonburris Strategic Development Zone (SDZ). More than 8,700 homes for a population exceeding 23,000 are expected to be developed in the Clonburris SDZ over the coming years, almost one-third of which will be built on land owned by the council. The council’s first project will see 60 affordable purchase homes and 56 social homes built on a site just south of the Grand Canal and less than 10 minutes walk from Clondalkin train station. The Irish Times, 2nd August

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