8th June (Issue 300)

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 Docklands Irish Life Investment Managers has completed the sale of Block A, Riverside IV in Dublin – a prime office building located at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay in Dublin’s south docklands – to German investor Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH for about €164 million. Developed originally by Sean Dunne, Riverside IV is a seven-storey over basement building comprising 12,355sq m (133,000sq ft) of grade A office space with more than 65 metres frontage to the River Liffey. The developer sold the property in 2006 in part exchange for the Irish Life-owned Hume House next to his extensive former Jurys hotel site in Ballsbridge. Riverside IV was valued at the time at €170 million while the 7,432sq m (80,000sq ft) Hume House had a sale price of €130 million. The sale of the property now to Deka comes just over one year after Matheson, Ireland’s largest law firm, committed to a new long-term lease of the entire building. In April 2020, and at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the company provided a significant boost to the Dublin office market when, rather than exercise a break option on Riverside IV, it signed a new 12-year lease on the property at a rent of €55 per sq ft. The Irish Times, 4th June

Burlington Road, Dublin 2 AIB’s decision to move to a hybrid-working model and the resulting reduction in its requirement for office space has opened up an opportunity for companies seeking headquarter accommodation in Dublin’s central business district. Having served up until now as the headquarters of the bank’s subsidiary, the EBS Building Society’s premises at No 2 Burlington Road is being offered to the market by way of assignment/flexible sub-lease with a head lease expiry date of 2027. Aisling Tannam and Patrick Kiersey of Cushman & Wakefield are quoting a rent of €592 per sq m (€55 per sq ft) and €3,500 per car parking space per annum. The subject property comprises a modern six-storey grade A office building of 85,200sq ft and 33 basement car-parking spaces, and is available to let in its entirety or sublet on a floor-by-floor basis to accommodate the requirements of potential occupiers. News of No 2 Burlington Road’s arrival on the letting market comes just 10 months after it was acquired by the German investment fund KGAL from UK property company Henderson Park Capital in a €94 million deal. The Irish Times, 2nd June

Swords, North Dublin Doosan Bobcat, the US engineering and construction machinery manufacturer, has committed to a new 10-year lease on premises at Swords Business Campus in north Dublin. It is understood that the US company has agreed to pay about €16 per sq ft for 10,000sq ft of office space at the development – a fraction of the €50 plus per sq ft it would pay in Dublin’s central business district. While Doosan Bobcat had been based in the Swords business park already, it exercised the break option on its previous offices and had been looking for new space in north Dublin. Having explored a number of options in the area, the company decided to relocate to a new building at Swords Business Campus. The Irish Times, 2nd June

Eyre Square, Galway Part of Hardiman House in the heart of Galway city is being brought to the market for sale, guiding €2,500,000. Located on Eyre Square, the property extends to 11,500sq ft and comprises self-contained office space over four floors, which are vacant and in need of refurbishment. The portion for sale does not include the two-front ground-floor retail units occupied by EBS mortgage lenders and ReMax estate agents, while Irish Life also owns a part of the property. It’s expected to appeal to a pool of buyers, including property investors, developers, and business owners who might like to acquire an office for their own needs. The Irish Independent, 3rd June

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 A two-storey office building in the heart of Ballsbridge in Dublin 4 is being offered for sale, with an €875,000 guide price. The red-brick terraced property at No 168 Pembroke Road, extends to 1,175sqft and could be extended. Its guide price equates to €576 per square foot on a gross internal area. Agents TWM say the owner may consider letting it for around €53,000 per annum (or €45 per square foot). The property could be converted to residential or extended, subject to planning permission. The building was formerly occupied by John O’Connor Solicitors and is located opposite the US Embassy. The Irish Independent, 3rd June



Bray, Wicklow Penneys, the fast fashion discount retailer, has agreed a deal to take a unit at Bray Central, a new shopping centre being built off the Co. Wicklow town’s main street by Oakmount, Paddy McKillen Jr’s development company. The three-storey Bray Central will comprise 270,000 sq ft of mixed-use space, which includes 12 retail units, a bowling alley, cinema and restaurant space. Confirmed occupants include Stella Cinema, Wowburger and Elephant & Castle, all hospitality outlets run by McKillen Jr’s Press Up outfit. Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore Properties acquired the centre for €53 million but plans for a residential development and shopping centre failed to get planning permission. The site ended up in the hands of Wicklow county council, which appointed Oakmount as development partner in 2018. The Sunday Times, 6th June



Ballycoolin, Dublin 15 JD Sports has agreed the letting of a new logistics facility in Dublin to fulfil its online orders and minimise disruptions to its business from Brexit. The UK-headquartered sportswear retailer is to base its first dedicated Irish distribution centre in Unit 35 at Rosemount Business Park in Ballycoolin, Dublin 15. The property extends to a gross external floor area of 8,640sq m (93,000sq ft), and will be occupied by JD Sports on a 10-year full repairing and insuring lease. As part of the deal, and in line with its focus on environmental, social, and corporate governance, the building’s owner Irish Life Investment Managers plans to make a significant investment in the property in advance of the British sportswear giant taking occupation. The investment will focus on major improvements to the building’s sustainability credentials with the aim of improving the BER from its current D2 certification to a much-improved B1 energy rating. The property’s previous tenant, office supplies specialist Office Depot (formerly Viking Direct), had occupied the premises since 2000. The Irish Times, 2nd June



Ratoath, Meath Kingscroft, the Abbey Group’s Irish housebuilding division, is understood to have paid about €10 million (c.€671k per acre) for a ready-to-go residential development site in the Meath town of Ratoath. The price paid represents a premium of just over 11 per cent on the €9 million agent Knight Frank had been guiding when it brought the site to the market last autumn. Located to the south of Ratoath town, the site extends to 14.9 acres and has full planning permission for 228 homes. The approval given by An Bord Pleanála in December 2019 provides for the development of 114 houses, 52 apartments in two blocks, 32 three-bedroom duplex units with six blocks with 30 apartments at second-floor level, along with a childcare facility. The lands are situated adjacent to the existing Broadmeadow residential development and are accessed via the recently constructed Ratoath outer relief road which offers ready access to the M2 via the R125. The M3 Parkway park-and-ride railway station is within 6.5km providing regular commuter services to Dublin city centre. The Irish Times, 2nd June

Donegal Bartra are seeking €3.8m for the Donegal Boardwalk resort. Situated overlooking Sheephaven Bay and at the heart of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, the complex is being offered to the market by agent Bannon with the tourism expertise of Niamh Walsh from TDL Horizons at a guide price of €3.8 million. The Donegal Boardwalk Resort is a successful trading asset comprising 27 holiday villas arranged across three cul-de-sacs. All 27 units have all been recently upgraded by Bartra and are in turn-key condition, fully fitted and presented to a very high standard. Each villa benefits from a private deck/patio. The development is located within a short distance of the popular north Donegal tourist villages of Carrigart and Downings and sits just 30km from Letterkenny. It is within a three-hour drive from both Dublin Airport and Galway and a two-hour drive from Belfast. As the tourism sector begins to reopen this month, the villas are all fully booked for the months of June, July and August and look very promising, according to the selling agent, for the “shoulder season” to follow. The Irish Times, 2nd June

Foxrock, Dublin 18 The sale of two adjoining properties in Foxrock should see strong interest from developers involved in the delivery of accommodation aimed towards the upper end of the city’s residential sector. Located at the junction of the Leopardstown Road and White’s Cross on the N1, the two properties – Ceiliurlann and Mount Salem – are being offered to the market by Knight Frank and JLL at guide prices of €2.5 million and €3 million, respectively. While the sales processes for the properties are being handled separately, interested parties may well pursue the purchase of both with a view to combining their sites for development. A feasibility study for the two properties is in place and can be requested from either agent. Ceiliurlann, which is for sale through Knight Frank, currently comprises an un-modernised detached house and adjacent mews, with secondary access, dating from 1968. Its grounds extend to 0.323 hectares (0.8 acres) and have 36m (118ft) of frontage onto Leopardstown Road. The property would be ideal for a multi-unit residential scheme subject to planning permission according to the selling agent, or to be retained as a single-family home. Mount Salem, formerly for sale without its associated mews, has been returned to the market now in its entirety by agent JLL. The property comprises a listed five-bedroom period residence of 380sq m (4,090sq ft) with a two-bedroom detached mews of 98sq m (1,051sq ft). The grounds of the property extend to 0.377hectares (0.93 acres). The Irish Times, 2nd June

Sites, Dublin Agents JLL have brought two Dublin development sites to the market with residential development potential. Of the two, the largest comprises 16.5 acres of residential zoned land off Citywest Avenue in Citywest, Dublin 24, which is being sold by Davy Hickey, the developer of most of Citywest. The asking price is over €12m. The other site is located at the corner of Townsend Street and Lombard Street in Dublin city centre, and also has potential for other uses. The guide price is €5.5m. The Citywest site includes 6.46 acres with ‘ready to go’ planning for 98 residential units, comprising 59 houses as well as 39 duplexes and apartments. A further 1.23 acres has potential for 17 houses. The whole lot is located to the north-east of Citywest Village and west of the Cheeverstown Luas stop. The city-centre site is located at 19/20 Lombard Street and 112/114 Townsend Street, Dublin 2 and extends to 670sqm (0.165 acres). The Irish Independent, 3rd June

Turners Cross, Cork A pub on Evergreen St in Cork which is close to Cork City’s home ground Turners Cross is set for conversion into seven residential units. The Evergreen Bar, at 31-35 Evergreen St, is on the market for €850,000, with full planning permission for seven homes. The property, on 0.25 acres, includes two single-storey wings either side of a two-storey and a three-storey mid-section. Planning is granted for a one-bed home in each of the single-storey wings, a five-bed house in the three-storey section, two one-bed homes in the two-storey section, and two semi-detached bungalows to the rear. The Irish Examiner, 3rd June



Huckletree, Dublin Huckletree, a co-working space company co-founded by Dubliner Andrew Lynch, has plans to at least triple its footprint in the capital city over the next three years. The company, which also has spaces in London and Manchester, operates the 30,000sq ft 19th century Academy building on Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Huckletree opened the D2 space for workers in 2017. Lynch said Huckletree would be looking to expand its portfolio in Ireland due to a trend toward flexible workspaces. He also stated, “Our biggest push is to get our D2 facility on Pearse Street up and running,” he said. “From our perspective, our growth ambitions haven’t changed since pre-Covid. If anything, they’ve accelerated, because of this trend we’re seeing across our markets, toward a flexible approach to workspace.” The Sunday Independent, 6th June

Hodson Bay, Athlone The owners of the four-star Hodson Bay resort near Athlone plan to develop a major eco-tourism facility for the midlands on a 145-acre peninsula acquired from members of the Lenihan family. The specially protected conservation area, Yewpoint, on the shores of Lough Ree, was bought by the O’Sullivan-family owned Hodson Bay group using a special purpose vehicle, New Island Resorts, backed by outside investors. The acquisition also includes two small islands, Horse Island and Robin Island. Since the deal last year during lockdown, the group has already opened a series of walking trails on the land in time for the summer season at Hodson Bay, a 176-bedroom resort on the lake shore beside the golf club. The longer-term plan, however, is to build small villages of eco-cabins on the peninsula, from which cars will be banned and the only guest access will be via golf buggies. The area’s potential for eco-tourism was considered as part of a development masterplan for the Shannon region, which was launched by the Government in March. It is believed New Island Resorts paid about €1 million for the land. Development of the eco resort will require far more capital and is likely to be done in several stages, depending on the implementation of the Shannon plan and the limitations of planning permission on such an ecologically sensitive plot. The Irish Times, 8th June

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