7th September (Issue 313)

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.




Core Portfolio, Greater Dublin Area Real estate private equity giant Palm Capital is closing in on the purchase for more than €200 million of the Core portfolio, a collection of industrial and logistics assets distributed across Dublin and the Greater Dublin Area. The UK-headquartered investor has been selected as preferred bidder for the portfolio in the face of competing bids from M7 Real Estate, Arrow Capital Partners and Ares Management. The price being paid by Palm Capital represents a significant premium on the €170 million the joint selling agents, CBRE and Eastdil Secured, had been guiding when they offered the portfolio for sale last April. While the Core portfolio includes properties in Rathcoole, Clondalkin and Finglas, its largest single asset is Naas Enterprise Park in Kildare. The 125-acre scheme was acquired in 2015 by Core’s former backers, York Capital, for €17 million. The New York headquartered hedge fund exited from Core Industrial in 2019. The Irish Times, 1st September

Greenogue Business Park, Dublin Industrial property specialist Harvey has been instructed as sole agent to offer Unit 649 Greenogue Business Park in Dublin for sale and is inviting offers in excess of €4.3 million. The detached warehouse and office facility extends to 2,714 square metres on a site of 1.04 acres and is let to Charles River Microbial Solutions International until August 2032. The lease incorporates a break option in 2027. However, the tenant has heavily invested in the property. Significantly under-rented at only €180,000 per annum, the property will have its next rent review in August 2022, with a further rent review in August 2027. This warehouse has a clear internal height of 10.9 metres and loading access is via a dock leveller and a level access door. The Business Post, 5th September

Newbridge, Kildare An industrial development site in Newbridge, Co Kildare, has been brought to the market with joint agents Jordan Auctioneers and Lavelle Commercial Property guiding €6m for it. This equates to €250,000 per acre for the 23.6-acre site, which is fully serviced and zoned Objective H ‘industrial and warehousing’ within the Newbridge Local Area Plan. It is located within Great Connell Business Park, about 1.5km south-east of Newbridge town centre. The surrounding area has a mix of industrial, residential and agricultural uses, with nearby occupiers including Pfizer, KDP Ireland, Lidl and Murphy Ireland. Lands to the east of the area are reported to have been recently acquired by the IDA. The Irish Independent, 2nd September



Newbridge, Co Kildare Penneys has submitted a planning application to Kildare County Council to develop a new, state-of-the-art warehousing and distribution facility at Great Connell in Newbridge. Should it get the go-ahead, the proposed 46,452sq m (500,000sq ft) logistics hub will comprise a distribution centre, warehouse and office space on a 15.3-hectare (38-acre) site. A spokeswoman for Penneys said the international fashion retailer would invest €75 million to develop the facility. As part of its planning application to Kildare County Council, Penneys outlines measures that it intends to take in the new facility to maximise efficiency and reduce its environmental impact, such as rainwater harvesting for water reduction, use of air-source heat pumps to provide heating where required and the use of solar panels to reduce primary electrical energy input. The new Newbridge depot will act as an all-island facility, creating additional capacity and serving its shops in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It will take three years to complete, subject to planning permission. The Irish Times, 31st August



Celbridge Pub, Co Kildare Joint agents Bagnall Doyle MacMahon and O’Neill & Co have been instructed to offer Henry Grattan’s Pub on the Maynooth Road in Celbridge, Co Kildare for sale by private treaty, and are seeking offers in excess of €1.7 million. The pub enjoys extensive road frontage onto the busy Celbridge to Maynooth Road (R405) and is situated close to a host of densely populated housing estates on the northern fringe of Celbridge. The single-storey licensed premises extends to some 751 square metres and has been refurbished to a high standard to offer a lounge bar, restaurant, bar and outdoor terrace facilities. There is also a fully fitted and equipped catering kitchen with a rear delivery yard and ample keg and bottle storage areas. Outside, there are extensive car parking facilities. Adjoining the licensed premises are two investment properties: a bookmaker of some 105 square metres and a funeral home of 88 square metres whose tenancies are not affected by the sale and which provide a combined annual rental income of approximately €50,000 along with two phone mast aerials. Importantly, the property occupies a site of about 0.92 hectares (or 2.3 acres) of which some 0.60 hectares (or 1.5 acres) is zoned Neighbourhood Centre under the Celbridge Local Area Plan 2017 – 2023. The remainder of the site is zoned Open Space. The Business Post, 5th September



Kevin Street, Dublin 8 Plans to construct a €475 million redevelopment of DIT’s former Kevin Street Campus in Dublin have secured the green light. An Bord Pleanála granted a 10-year planning permission to Shane Whelan’s Westridge Real Estate for the development of 53,110 sq ft of office accommodation in two 11-storey blocks alongside 299 build-to-rent apartments across three buildings of up to 14 storeys in height. Westridge acquired the 3.57-acre site for €140 million in August 2019 and a report lodged with the plans by EY estimates that the total output that the redevelopment will generate over 10 years is €7.67 billion. Dublin City Council granted planning permission for the scheme last year, but the decision was appealed by eight parties. In its decision, the appeals board ordered the removal of one floor from the proposed five-storey Block C. The board granted planning permission after the inspector in the case said the principle of the mixed-use scheme is acceptable and appropriate for this brownfield city site. The Irish Times, 1st September

Boland’s Mills, Dublin Google Ireland is looking for a marketplace operator and retail tenants for its new Boland’s Mills development, which will bring shops, restaurants, a cultural space and marketplace to the heart of Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock. Google acquired the three landmark buildings, then known as Bolands Quay, in 2018 in a deal worth about €300 million. The redeveloped space, which will have 10 buildings, is due to open in 2023 and will comprise more than 37,000sq m (400,000sq ft) of regenerated mixed-use space, built around the historic 19th century Boland’s flour mills. The development will include about 28,000sq m (301,389sq ft) of office space, 46 apartments, cafes and cultural space. Boland’s Mills will also include 3,700sq m (40,000sq ft) of publicly accessible mixed-use space, with retail, recreation and dining, and a dedicated 465sq m (5,000sq ft) community and cultural space. The redevelopment is to include a market hall on the ground floor of the old mills, offering the opportunity for a marketplace operator to curate a mix of food stalls, traders and producers. The Irish Times, 1st September

Dawson Street, Dublin 2 The founder of the State’s largest waste company, Beauparc Utilities, has agreed a deal which will see him acquire Royal Hibernian Way on Dublin’s Dawson Street for €74 million. Eamon Waters is understood to have exchanged contracts on the transaction with the scheme’s owners, Aviva Investors, earlier this week. While Royal Hibernian Way is arguably best known as the location of the Davy Stockbrokers head office, the 8,630sq m (92,888sq ft) scheme also includes around 1,950sq m (21,000sq ft) of retail and hospitality space. In purchasing the property for €74 million, Mr. Waters is set to secure a discount of 8 per cent on the €80 million Aviva Life and Pensions Ireland DAC had been seeking from its disposal. The Irish Times, 3rd September



Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 The much-anticipated sale of a substantial part of Facebook’s new European headquarters in Ballsbridge, has been formally announced with a guide price in excess of €395 million. The sale of the stake on behalf of the Serpentine consortium, a syndicate of private individuals and companies assembled by AIB private banking and Goodbody Stockbrokers, is expected to attract significant interest from international investors. The investment comprises 31,536 square metres (339,456 sq ft) of office space across four blocks and forms an intrinsic part of the wider 83,612.7 sq m (900,000 sq ft) Facebook campus which is in the process of being delivered on the former AIB Bankcentre site. The four blocks are fully let to Facebook and offer a weighted average unexpired lease term of over 15 years. The leases are held on full repairing and insuring terms and benefit from five-yearly upward-only open market rent reviews, the next of which is due in October 2022. The current passing rent is understood to break back to approximately €538.20 per square metre (€50 per sq ft). That is below recent lettings in the area which have been achieving in excess of €645.83 per square metre (€60 per sq ft), suggesting strong reversionary potential for an incoming purchaser. The properties have recently undergone an extensive refurbishment programme to bring them up to LEED Gold standard. Facebook’s Dublin campus is expected to achieve WELL Platinum certification upon completion. The highest-profile element of the campus will face on to Merrion Road and is being developed by Johnny Ronan’s Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE). Fibonacci Square, as it will be known, is set to comprise 34,838sq m (375,000sq ft) and has been fully let to Facebook on a 25-year lease commencing in 2022. The Irish Times, 7th September

Herbert Place, Dublin 2 Lisney launched the sale of two interconnecting period buildings last week with vacant possession in Dublin 2. Nos. 27 and 28 Herbert Place are situated in a prominent position on the corner of Mount Street Crescent and Herbert Place, overlooking the canal. Used as offices, the asset offers plenty of potential for investors and the agent is guiding a sale price of €3.4 million. The offices have been owned and occupied by Savvi credit union for more than 20 years and thus the buildings have been very well maintained. It is likely the sale will attract a wide range of potential investors, as an attractive office location with ample amenities in the immediate area or as a conversion opportunity to apartments (subject to planning permission). The Business Post, 5th September



Clonsilla, Dublin 15 Urbeo, the Irish residential investment platform backed by Starwood Capital Group and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, continues to move closer to its goal of assembling a €1 billion portfolio of build-to-rent assets. Having spent more than €500 million on 1,500 rental apartments in the 12 months following its establishment in December 2018, the company has returned to the acquisitions trail with the €73 million forward purchase of 211 new homes (€346k per home) from Irish developer Kimpton Vale. Located at the Windmill scheme in Clonsilla, Dublin 15, the units acquired by Urbeo are under construction currently and due for completion at the end of 2022. The portfolio comprises a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments incorporating the latest technological features and NZEB (nearly zero energy buildings) ratings. The Windmill scheme is well-located within close proximity to a number of public transport routes. Coolmine railway station is around 550 metres from the property. The scheme is also immediately accessible to the N3 and the M50 and the wider national road and motorway networks. The Irish Times, 1st September

Cork Street, Dublin 8 A site with full planning permission for a major co-living scheme has come to the market in Dublin city centre seeking €25 million. Located midway along Cork Street, the 0.45 hectare (1.1 acre) holding is being offered to the market by joint agents Colliers and Cushman & Wakefield having secured approval from An Bord Pleanála for the construction of a 372-unit development comprising 378 bedspaces ranging in size from 17sq m to 36sq m (183-388sq ft) all within a seven-storey structure. Designed by architect John Fleming, the permitted scheme also includes a reception area, communal lounge/social room, a multi-purpose room, a private function room, cinema, yoga space, a gym and workspace area, all on the ground floor. While Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien banned co-living schemes last December, the purchaser of the subject site, at the Old Glass Factory in the Liberties area of Dublin, will be free to proceed with it its development as its planning application predated the ban’s formal introduction on December 22 last. The Irish Times, 1st September

Foxrock, South Dublin Developers and investors targeting the upper end of the owner-occupier and private rented sector (PRS) markets will be interested in the sale of a prime residential site at Foxrock in south Dublin. Located at the junction of Kill Lane and the Bray Road (N11) and immediately across the road from the landmark Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, the subject site extends to 0.358 acres (0.885 hectares) and comes for sale at a guide price of €4.5 million with full planning permission for the development of 45 apartments and 41 car parking spaces. The approved scheme (planning references D19A/0006 and ABP PL06D.304979) allows for a total of 45 units comprising a mix of one-, two- and three-bed apartments and 41 car parking spaces. The site is located close to the villages of Foxrock, Deansgrange, Cornelscourt and Cabinteely and their respective amenities which include schools, shops, restaurants, pubs and medical facilities. The Luas green line is accessible at Sandyford which is 2.7km from the site. The Irish Times, 1st September

Social Housing, Ireland The Government has pledged to spend €20 billion on housing over the next five years to deliver an average of 33,000 units a year in an ambitious plan to solve what Taoiseach Micheál Martin said was “a social emergency”. If implemented as planned, the Housing for All strategy will see an additional 300,000 housing units by 2030 and make new housing affordable for tens of thousands of people currently shut out of the housing market. It was welcomed, however, by industry groups and homeless charities. The document anticipates a mixture of public and private investment in housing, with about half of all homes planned under the strategy provided by the State. It pledges that more than 90,000 social homes will be built by the end of the decade, plus almost 54,000 affordable and cost-rental homes. The plan includes two affordable housing schemes with an expectation that there will be 4,000 such homes on average available each year of the plan. The plan also pledges an average of 2,000 cost-rental homes per year or 18,000 over the lifetime of the plan. In the cost-rental system, rents are based on the cost of building, managing and maintaining the homes, and not market rates. Rents are to be at least 25 per cent below the market. The Irish Times, 3rd September

Housing, Ireland The Land Development Agency (“LDA”) is planning a new urban village in Inchicore in Dublin which could accommodate up to 10,000 homes. The government decided to transfer the Iarnród Eireann train works depot in Inchicore to the LDA as part of its Housing for All plan last week. The LDA believes that the Iarnród Eireann site, plus nearby state lands from the ESB and the Office of Public Works, could fit around 5,000 affordable homes on their own. In total, the LDA has been given enough new state land to build 15,000 homes, on top of the 6,000 homes it is already planning. While there were discussions about transferring the Cathal Brugha Barracks in Rathmines to the LDA to develop housing there, this has not been included in a final list. The LDA has been given the Broadstone bus depot in Phibsboro in Dublin, which could fit 1,000 homes, and the Conyngham Road garage opposite the main entrance to the Phoenix Park which could fit 300 homes. The government has promised the LDA a further €1 billion to develop 5,000 homes on vacant private sites with planning permission. That equates to around €200,000 per house, but John Coleman, the LDA chief executive, said this would not be the average price. He said the LDA would be seeking competitive bids from private developers for around 3,000 cost rental homes and 2,000 affordable purchase homes. Coleman said the LDA’s €1 billion fund might be used to develop private sites in Galway, Limerick and Waterford but the main focus would be on Dublin and Cork where the housing need was greatest. The Housing for All plan has given the LDA the role of trying to attract international construction firms into the country to boost competition. The Business Post, 5th September



Private Rented Sector, Ireland The private rented sector (PRS) market continues to see a high level of investment with around €1.5 billion spent across 19 major transactions in the first six months of this year. That’s according to the latest report into the sector by agent Hooke & MacDonald. While the largest sale in the period saw Ardstone Capital commit to the forward purchase of around 900 properties either due to be developed or under development currently in multiple schemes in the greater Dublin area (GDA), several other deals were also completed. The most valuable of these saw Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore secure €200 million from the forward-funded sale to German-headquartered Union Investment of 435 apartments it is developing at 8th Lock, Royal Canal Park in Dublin 15. Other significant deals included Cairn Homes’ sale for €176.5 million of 342 apartments it is developing at its Griffith Wood scheme in Marino to Greystar, and Dwyer Nolan Developments’ €181 million sale of 401 apartments across three north Dublin locations to Ardstone Capital. Another sizeable transaction was the forward sale of 295 apartments which are currently being developed by Michael Cotter’s Park Developments at Clay Farm, Dublin 18, for €127 million to BlackRock/SW3 Capital. Hooke & MacDonald’s analysis shows that PRS accounted for 55 per cent of all investment in the first six months of 2021. The figure represents a notable increase on the 40 per cent recorded for the equivalent period in 2020. Hooke & MacDonald notes that just 2,495 units were completed in Dublin in the first half of 2021. Outside of Dublin, 6,489 new homes completed in the first six months of 2021. The Irish Times, 1st September


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