9th August (Issue 58)

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.




Project Beara: Deutsche Bank is understood to have been chosen as the preferred bidder for NAMA’s c. €250m par value Project Beara loan portfolio. The portfolio consists of loans linked to Cork’s Love family and their Shipton Group. The assets securing the loans consist of development and retail sites. There have been no indications yet as to the sale price. The underbidders include Avenue Capital, Goldman Sachs and Marathon. NAMA Wine Lake, 7th August



Tetrarch Fund: The ESB pension fund is understood to be in “advanced talks” with Tetrarch Capital over a c. €100m investment in Tetrarch’s new fund. The fund will be used to acquire 12 office properties which Tetrarch already controls, whilst also providing a liquidity event for Pimco, one of Tetrarch’s main backers. Six of the offices are in Dublin’s north city centre (c. 347,000 sq. ft.) and the other six are in Millennium Park, Naas, Co. Kildare. The Millennium Park assets were acquired in July 2015 and are c. 56% let to government tenants. The Sunday Times, 7th August

Carrisbrook House: The IDA has agreed to pay c. €9.4m over three years to exit a lease it inherited from Forfás for Carrisbrook House in Dublin 4. The future lease commitments were c. €22.5m, therefore the IDA has saved c. €13.1m by exiting the lease early. The IDA had been seeking to sub-let the property in recent years, however it was unable to attract a tenant. In their most recent annual report, the IDA mentioned that the significant cost required to refurbish the building was one of the main reasons for not being able to identify a tenant. Another factor was that only 85% of the property was available to sub-let, as another tenant occupies the remainder under a lease until 2025. The Sunday Business Post, 7th August

Liberty Insurance: Liberty Insurance has announced that it is to sell a former Quinn Insurance building in Co. Cavan whilst also sub-letting half of its Blanchardstown office block in Dublin. The moves come following a number of staff layoffs in recent years by Liberty. When Liberty acquired Quinn Insurance in 2011, there were c. 1,500 staff. Once the latest redundancies have been implemented, Liberty will have less than 400 staff. The Cavan property has a floor area of c. 25,000 sq. ft., whilst the space available to let in Blanchardstown consists of c. 100,000 sq. ft. across five floors. The Sunday Times, 7th August

The Friary: An office property in Smithfield, Dublin 7 has been sold for €2.2m, a sale price which reflects a net initial yield of c. 9.7%. The Friary is a four-storey, 10,460 sq. ft. property which has an annual rental income of c. €200k. The current tenants are The Law Society, Enovation Solutions, Detail Design and Friary Solicitors. The Friary also has 10 car spaces, which are located to the front of the property. The Irish Times, 3rd August

Nassau Street: The Irish Times reports that the BCP International Property Fund and Meyer Bergman will shortly seek planning permission to undertake a major redevelopment of a site located on the corner of Nassau Street and Dawson Street in Dublin 2. Nine retail units currently occupy the ground floor of the existing buildings and the proposal would see these replaced with a number of larger retail units where the total floor area would be c. 80,000 sq. ft. The proposal would also see c. 100,000 sq. ft. of office space developed on the upper floors. The funds acquired the site in September 2015 for c. €90m and should they be able to complete their proposed development, the site’s value is expected to exceed €200m. The Irish Times, 3rd August



Radisson Farnham Estate: A fund operated by the Austrian investor Thomas Roeggla has reportedly paid over €26m for the Radisson Farnham Estate in Co. Cavan. The four-star, 158-bed hotel is situated on a 1,250-acre site and was developed by Roy McCabe for c. €85m. The hotel was sold under the instruction of a NAMA-appointed receiver and was available for purchase with or without the Radisson management agreement. The acquisition means that Roeggla’s fund has now spent over €50m on hotels. The fund’s other purchases include the Cavan Crystal hotel in Co. Cavan and the Clarion hotel in Co. Limerick. The Sunday Times, 7th August

Ripley Court Hotel: Austin Kelly has submitted plans for the redevelopment of the three-star, 96-bed Ripley Court hotel on Dublin’s Talbot Street. The plans propose demolishing the existing three-storey hotel and replacing it with a seven-storey hotel. The Sunday Times, 7th August

Smithfield Hotel: Dublin Corporate Apartments Ltd, which is controlled by Brian O’Neill and Yvonne Slattery, has applied for planning permission from Dublin City Council to develop a new 96-bed hotel in Smithfield in Dublin city centre. The application proposes for the development of a six-storey, 45,000 sq. ft. hotel on a 0.25-acre site. To facilitate the development, eight properties on Benburb Street would be demolished. NAMA Wine Lake, 7th August

Morgan Hotel: Aston Quay Property Ltd has sought planning permission from Dublin City Council for an expansion of the Morgan Hotel, which is located in Dublin’s Temple Bar. The company wants to expand the floor space of the 4-star, 132-bed hotel from 80,000 sq. ft. to 100,000 sq. ft., whilst also adding another 56 beds to the hotel. NAMA Wine Lake, 7th August

Kildare Development: The nursing home operator Blockstar has sought planning permission from Kildare County Council for a c. €30m project on the site of the Red House Hotel in Kildare. The application proposes the development of a 68-bed hotel, a nursing home, a c. 70,000 sq. ft. movie studio and a film school. Blockstar acquired the site in 2013. The Sunday Business Post, 7th August



Dublin Infrastructure: Dublin City Council has advised that c. €80m of the Government’s recently announced €200m local infrastructure activation fund would be required to facilitate the development of up to 10,000 homes across six areas in Dublin City. The funding requirement for each area ranges from €4m to €25m. The areas which require the largest funding requirements are the Poolbeg Peninsula (c. €25m) and the docklands area (c. €25m). The Poolbeg Peninsula could facilitate c. 3,000 new homes whilst the docklands area could support c. 2,400 new apartments.The Irish Times, 4th August

Chivers Factory Site: Veni Vidi Vici, a company owned by Andrew and Maurice Gillick, has acquired the nine-acre site of the former Chivers factory in Coolock, north Dublin. The brothers are now seeking to have the zoning of the site changed to residential, to allow them to submit a planning application for c. 250 apartments and duplexes. The site was sold under the instruction of the receiver appointed over Liam Carroll’s company, Danninger. The Sunday Business Post, 7th August

Glenkerrin Apartments: NAMA is understood to be preparing the sale of over 400 Dublin apartments which were previously controlled by Glenkerrin Homes. The first set of apartments to be sold consists of c. 270 apartments at The Grange in Stillorgan, which may sell for in excess of €80m. The second set comprises c. 150 apartments in St Edmunds in Palmerstown, where the sale price may exceed €40m. The Sunday Times, 7th August

Pelletstown Development: An Bord Pleanála has approved a planning application for a c. €65m project which should see over 300 new homes developed along the Royal Canal in Pelletstown, Dublin. The applicant was a NAMA-appointed receiver for Capel Developments. The receiver has obtained planning permission for 317 of the 318 homes in the application. The Irish Times, 8th August

86 – 88 North Wall Quay: NAMA has reportedly paid c. €26m for a 0.25-acre site (c. €104m an acre) at 86 – 88 North Wall Quay in Dublin’s docklands. The site is understood to be of strategic importance to NAMA as it is adjacent to the 600,000 sq. ft. Project Wave development, which NAMA is completing in a joint venture with Ballymore. The 0.25-acre site is believed to have planning permission for a c. 80,000 sq. ft. office block. NAMA Wine Lake, 7th August

Donnybrook Developments: Dublin City Council has approved a planning application from Purleigh Holdings for the construction of 71 apartments in Donnybrook, Dublin 4. The site was previously owned by UCD. The Sunday Times, 7th August

Housing Completions: The latest figures from the Department of Housing show that there were 6,642 units completed in H1 2016, a c. 18% increase on the H1 2015 figure. This figure is also the highest recorded since 2011. There were 1,993 new units in Dublin, a c. 45% increase on H1 2015. One-off homes accounted for c. 41% (2,724 units) of the total units completed. The number of new house starts has also risen by c. 41%, and stands at 5,125. The Irish Independent, 4th August

Planning Applications: New figures from the Department of Housing and Planning show that there were 26,451 planning applications lodged with local authorities in 2015, a c. 20% increase when compared to 2014’s total of 22,001. Dublin City Council recorded one of the largest increases, with a c. 47% rise to 2,734 applications. One of the limitations of these figures is that they do not distinguish between the application type. Therefore, the total amount of fees received by local councils can be a better indicator of activity because larger applications require a larger fee. The fees received by Dublin City Council in 2015 rose by over 90% to c. €2.34m, which suggest that there has been an increase in the number of large-scale applications submitted. The Irish Times, 5th August

Q2 2016 Mortgage Drawdowns: The Q2 2016 report by the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) on mortgage drawdowns shows that there were 6,803 drawdowns in the period, for which the total value was c. €1.29bn. When compared to Q2 2015, the volume of mortgage drawdowns rose by 11.2%, whilst their value rose by 17.9%. The number of mortgage drawdowns was the highest Q2 total since 2010. First time buyers continue to dominate the market, accounting for 48.5% of the volume and 46.9% of the value of all drawdowns. BPFI Mortgage Drawdowns Q2 2016



Seatown Business Campus: An unnamed party has acquired Seatown Business Campus in Swords, Co. Dublin. The industrial park lies on a 2.4-acre site and has a floor area of 47,200 sq. ft., split across 21 units. With 17 of the 21 units occupied, the occupancy rate is c. 81%. The current rent roll is c. €279k and the park has a weighted average unexpired lease term of c. 3.6 years. The industrial park was sold by Kelly Walsh under the instruction of the receiver, Ken Fennell of Deloitte. The Irish Times, 3rd August


Royal Dublin Society (RDS) Expansion: The RDS has applied for planning permission from Dublin City Council to redevelop the Anglesea Stand of the Ballsbridge arena. The cost of the redevelopment is projected at c. €26m. If permission to redevelop the stand is granted, then it should allow Leinster Rugby to increase their capacity from 18,500 to 21,000, while also providing new facilities for concerts and other events. The Irish Times, 4th August

Whitegate Refinery: The Canadian firm Irving Oil has agreed to acquire the Whitegate Refinery in Cork from Phillips 66 for c. €80m. Whitegate is the only oil refinery in Ireland and produces over 70,000 barrels per day. In 2001, Whitegate was sold by the government to Tosco for c. €100m. Tosco was later acquired by Phillips 66. The accounts for the refinery show that it recorded a loss of c. $148m in 2014. The Sunday Business Post, 7th August


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