6th July (Issue 304)

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.




Grafton St, Dublin 2 Lululemon Athletica, a yoga and sports clothing chain, is to open a standalone store on Grafton Street in a welcome boost for Dublin’s premier shopping street and the beleaguered retail sector. The Canadian company has settled on the former Pamela Scott store at No 84, according to property sources. Lululemon already operates a concession outlet in Brown Thomas on the street, where management has been impressed by sales. The latest accounts for its Irish operations showed that it clocked up sales of €2.6 million in the year to the end of January 2020, up from €1.93 million in 2018. The company reported a pre-tax profit of just over €57,000. Lululemon has previously indicated it was “actively looking” for further business opportunities in Ireland. The Sunday Times, 4th July



Ardstone, Dublin Ardstone Capital, the investment firm founded by former Friends First senior executives, has paid around €180 million to acquire 398 apartments (€453k per apartment) being delivered by Dwyer Nolan Developments across three sites in Dublin. The agreement of the forward purchase deal will see Ardstone secure ownership of a mix of units across the developer’s schemes at Santry Place in north Dublin, Hampton Wood in Finglas and at Windermere in Clongriffin. The Irish Times understands the transaction was finalised last week. The off-market deal, which was brokered by joint agents CBRE and Dillon Marshall, represents the latest in a series of significant sales for Dublin’s private rented sector (PRS) market. The apartments at Santry Place account for the largest portion of the Dwyer Nolan portfolio sale with some 205 units across three blocks due for practical completion in the third quarter of this year. The 125 units at Hampton Wood and the 68 units at Windermere in Clongriffin are scheduled for delivery in 2022. The Irish Times, 30th June

Finglas, Dublin 11 Investors involved in Dublin’s thriving private rented sector (PRS) market will be interested in an apartment portfolio in Finglas, Dublin 11 which has been brought to the market on behalf of NAMA. Guiding at a price of €14.5 million, the sale of 54 units equates to €269k per apt. Built in 2005, Prospect Hill comprises a total of 479 apartments across nine blocks, ranging in height from three to eight storeys, above basement car parking. Distributed across six blocks within the scheme, the 54 apartments in the subject portfolio consist of 49 two-beds, 30 of which are duplex, and five one-bed units. The subject portfolio is currently under-rented with just 26 of the units fully-occupied at an average monthly rent of €1,200, which is relatively-low when compared to the rents being achieved across the capital at present. The remaining 28 units are vacant and ready for occupancy, and 26 of these can be let at full-market rent, as they have not been let previously. Market rents are in the region of €1,700 a month for a two-bed and €1,500 for a one-bed. Colliers estimates the portfolio will have a market rental value of about €1.092 million once it is fully let. The Irish Times, 30th June

Oliver Plunkett St, Cork Plans have been lodged for the major redevelopment of the Hickey’s hardware store in the centre of Cork City that will include a six-storey apartment complex. The site between Oliver Plunkett St and Maylor St is located on the centre island in the heart of the city’s retail core and will see the development of 32 new apartments if permission is granted. The proposed development will see the existing building and five upper floor apartments on Oliver Plunkett St retained, with the warehouse and office buildings on the Maylor St side being demolished. This is to facilitate the construction of a new six-storey building that will accommodate the apartments made up of 11 one-bed units, 12 two-bed, and nine studio units, all facing on to Maylor St. The Irish Examiner, 1st July

Marlet Portfolio Three investors are still in the frame for Marlet Property Group’s €1 billion Castle private rented sector (PRS) portfolio as talks on the sale this week enter a critical stage. Kennedy Wilson, an American real estate investor and one of Ireland’s biggest private landlords, has joined forces with rival bidder Blackstone, the world’s biggest equity firm, to bid for the portfolio, according to sources. Union Investment, a German asset manager, is also believed to be still in the process. Talks are said to be delicately poised, with external factors playing a part. Marlet, which is backed by UK fund M&G Investments, is said to be willing to take the massive portfolio off the market if its value expectations are not met. The portfolio, which will deliver 2,000 homes, is spread across six sites in Dublin and includes apartments and duplexes. The Sunday Times, 4th July



Hatch St, Dublin 2 One Park Place has secured a new tenant for the sixth floor space that Dropbox vacated. US-headquartered video games publisher 2K Games has committed to a 10-year lease by way of sub-lease from Dropbox for the entire sixth floor at a rent of €60 per sq ft. At 2,322sq m (25,000sq ft), the transaction represents the biggest letting to have been agreed in the Dublin office market in the second quarter. Agent CBRE represented Dropbox while Cushman & Wakefield acted for 2K Games. CBRE is now marketing the fourth and fifth floors extending to a total of 5,388sq m (58,000sq ft) by way of sub-lease from Dropbox at a guide of €60 per sq ft. Developed by the Kenny family’s Clancourt Group, One Park Place occupies a prominent location overlooking the Iveagh Gardens within Dublin’s central business district. The Irish Times, 30th June

Sandyford, Dublin 18 Joint agents QRE Real Estate Advisers and Investi are guiding a rent of €25 per sq ft for offices on the first floor of Arena House at Sandyford in south Dublin. Located on Arena Road and at the heart of the Sandyford Business District (SBD), Arena House comprises a four-storey over-basement detached office building of 4,125.4sq m (44,405sq ft). The space being offered to the market is available on a new long-term lease, and extends to 1,108sq m (11,930sq ft). The subject accommodation has undergone substantial refurbishment to CAT A specification, and includes suspended ceilings with new PIR and LED lighting, carpeted, raised-access floors, a new three-pipe VRF air-conditioning system, and double glazing throughout. The first-floor space is open plan, and has the benefit of a balcony. Arena House has a manned reception area and 50 basement and surface car-parking spaces, which are being made available to rent for €1,500 per annum per space. The Irish Times, 30th June

Willow Road, Dublin 12 QRE Real Estate Advisers have been appointed to handle the sale of Westland House, a multi-let office investment in Westland Business Park, Willow Road in Dublin 12. The building is let to four tenants: Electroplus Group Ireland, Scope Ophthalmics, GVD, and Total Care Pharmaceuticals. Westland House is a third-generation office building of c21,700 sq. ft, finished to a modern specification. The spec includes raised access floors, suspended ceilings with a mix of fluorescent strip and LED lighting, VRV air conditioning, an 8-person passenger lift and a central feature stairwell. The agent is quoting a guide price of €2.8 million, which reflects a net initial yield of 8.52 per cent (allowing for standard purchaser’s costs of 9.96 per cent) based off a contracted rent of €262,082 per annum. The guide price reflects an attractive capital value of €129 per square foot. The Business Post, 4th July

Kilkenny City The first phase of development in Kilkenny city’s urban regeneration scheme the Abbey Quarter is on track for completion in October. The Brewhouse, as it will be known, is set to be the flagship element of the development and will comprise over 50,000sq ft of grade-A office accommodation. The building has been redeveloped from the historic brewery that Smithwicks operated on the site from 1710 to 2014. Aoife O’Neill of Lisney says the estate agent has seen “good interest” in the Brewhouse from potential occupiers seeking high-quality office accommodation. A design team has been appointed for the next office block at the scheme which will also comprise 50,000sq ft. A planning application for the building is expected to be submitted this September. The Brewhouse is being developed by Abbey Quarter Developments, which is a partnership between Kilkenny County Council and the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) in its capacity as controller and manager of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF). The partnership has plans to develop six more building plots as part of the new urban quarter providing a mix of uses including office, residential, education and retail. The Irish Times, 30th June



South King Street, Dublin 2 Hines has formally acquired the second phase of Chatham & King, a new high-profile mixed-use scheme next to the Gaiety Theatre on South King Street in Dublin city centre. Hines’s acquisition of the 3,950sq m (42,500sq ft) portfolio marks the culmination of the €165 million deal it agreed with US private equity giant Lone Star for the wider Chatham & King development in 2018. The second phase, which has now been completed by Lone Star, comprises six residential units, five retail units totalling 1,486sq m (16,000sq ft) and 2,461sq m (26,500sq ft) of office space which will be occupied by Qualtrics. The €40 million cost of developing the new building on Chatham Street and Clarendon Row was included as part of the €165 million deal agreed on behalf of Hines European Core Fund (HECF) in 2018. Hines says that negotiations are at an advanced stage on each of the five new retail units, which range in size from 46sq m (495sq ft) to 1,178sq m (12,680sq ft). The incoming tenants will sit alongside the existing tenants, which include Zara, H&M and Apple-reseller CompuB, which recently signed a new lease for a 315sq m (3,400sq ft) retail unit on South King Street. The Irish Times, 30th June

Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 An investment property with development potential on Nutgrove Avenue, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, sold for almost double its €1m guide price at a BidX1 auction last Friday. Known as Ely House, it includes an office building and warehouses and sold for €1,953,000. Its long, narrow site of 0.205 hectares stretches along Nutgrove Avenue, close to the Grange Road junction. Annually it generates €105,000 in rents from 14 tenants. The rent includes €30,000 from a car wash. The Irish Independent, 1st July

Malahide, Co. Dublin A multi-family unit of 22 apartments plus a crèche has come to the market in the coastal town of Malahide, north county Dublin, guiding €9.4 million through agent TWM. Abington Wood, just off the Swords Road, is situated at the entrance to Abington, the up-market development of substantial detached homes. Built in 2008, Abington Wood comprises 22 two-bed apartments distributed across two three-storey over-basement blocks, a ground-floor crèche, and 49 underground car parking spaces. The total annual gross income from both the apartments and crèche is €555,140, with Links Creche & Montessori paying an annual rent of €110,000 until lease expiry in May 2025. The average gross monthly rent for each of the apartments is €1,686, with rental agent Boland Hyland reporting strong rental demand, with vacancies taking no longer than about two weeks to re-let (outside of Covid-related lockdowns). The sale of the development at the guide price of €9.4 million would give its new owner a net initial yield of 5.61% and a net operating income yield of 4.58 %. The property last came to market in 2014, seeking €4.95 million. It was subsequently acquired for €6.2 million by the Israeli businessman Igal Ahouvi, whose investments in Ireland have included a number of high-profile supermarket properties, as well as the Skechers shoe shop building on Henry Street. The Irish Times, 30th June



Ringaskiddy, Cork A price in excess of €16 million is being sought by vendors Port of Cork for a very large building of 170,000 sq ft they took over next to their expanding port facility at Ringaskiddy, which was originally occupied by hygiene products company Buckeye. On 6.68 ha/16.5 acre site, next to Janssen Sciences and Novartis, the key, strategic property is for sale with estate agent Sean Healy of Cushman & Wakefield who emphasises the proximity to the port’s already extended quays and container facility and the anticipated M28. The building was first developed by Canadian hygienic products firm Merfin Europe Ltd, on a 16-acre site they had acquired in 1995 from the then Cork Harbour Commissioners, now Port of Cork Company. Initially built as a 140,000 sq ft manufacturing facility, it has most recently been used for logistics, storage and distribution. With a market-friendly 12m eaves and nine dock levellers on a very extensive site it’s offered with vacant possession. The Irish Examiner, 1st July

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