9th February (Issue 283)

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.




Tik Tok, Dublin The Irish Independent reported that Tik Tok has identified 5 possible locations for their new headquarters in Dublin. Tik Tok have a requirement for 200k sq.ft with space for 2,000 employees. Depending on the pandemic they plan on moving staff to their new office by the end of the year. Among locations being considered are the Sorting Office on the South Docks, Heuston South Quarter Development, and the newly constructed North Dock complex in the financial district. The Irish Independent, 6th February 

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 The Serpentine consortium, a syndicate of private individuals and companies assembled by AIB private banking and Goodbody Stockbrokers, has initiated a process to dispose of its interest in Facebook’s new European headquarters in Ballsbridge. The c.325k sq.ft building is expected to command a price of €380m. It is reported that the consortium has commenced the process in selecting a sales agent for the sale. The consortiums’ holding is fully let to Facebook for another 9 years and the building forms part of Facebooks new HQ, which is currently under construction. The Irish Times, 5th February



Baggot St, Dublin 2 Masons Owens & Lyons is guiding €5m for the former Latchfords townhouse on Lower Baggot Street. The investment comprises vacant possession of the hotel measuring 11,368 sq.ft., and there is also annual rental income derived from a well-known restaurant (Chai-Yo) at basement level, and a rear car park. The restauraunt is generating €78k p.a with the 10 car spaces let to Bank of Ireland for c.€21k p.a. The property is expected to generate strong interest from hotel operators, private individuals, domestic and international investors, and developers. The Irish Times, 3rd February

Jurys Hotel, Ballsbridge The US embassy has applied to Dublin City Council to rezone the old Jurys hotel in Ballsbridge to allow them to build a new embassy building. The US government is understood to have agreed to buy what is now the Ballsbridge Hotel from Chartered Land. The sale does require a change in zoning from residential to enterprise and employment use. In the request the US government state that their current 1960’s embassy is no longer fit for purpose. The current embassy can cater for 150-200 staff whilst it is reported that the new one will be able to accommodate 400. The Irish Times, 8th February



Docklands, Dublin 1 A 9-acre site in Dublin’s North Docks which is zoned for a major use scheme has launched with a guide price of €80m (€8.88m per acre). The sale is being managed by Savills. The guide price is 47% less then when it last went to market in 2005 for €150m, when the site had planning permission for 901k sq.ft mixed use development including a 19 storey tower and 721 apartments. The combination of the sites positive planning history and location close to the port tunnel is predicted to demand a lot of interest. The Irish Times, 3rd February

Drumcondra, Dublin 9 The Irish Times reported that German fund Patrizia AG is understood to be finalising the forward purchase of up to 475 apartments for more than €200m at Hartfield Place in Drumcondra. The apartments are being developed by Kieran Gannon’s Eastwise Group. The proposed €200m equates to an average of €421k per unit. The Irish Times, 3rd February

Wicklow, Site Knight Frank has launched the sale of a site on Greenhill Road in Wicklow across from the Mariners Point residential scheme. The site is 18 acres and Knight Frank are seeking €1.75m (€97.2k per acre). The majority of the site (12.3 acres) is zoned R4 Residential with the remainder zoned RE1 Residential. The site is within 2km from the train station with a commuting time of 1 hour 10 minutes into Dublin City Centre. The Irish Times, 3rd February

Apartments, Dublin The Business Post reported that the Minister of Housing Darragh O’Brien is investigating measures that would tax landlords who “hoard” vacant apartments. This is following an investigation the Business Post carried out a few weekends ago stating that there were hundreds of high-end new build to rent apartment sitting vacant in Dublin city centre. The Business Post, 8th February 

Merrion Row, Dublin 2 Dublin City Council has approved plans for the demolition of the Unicorn Restaurant to make way for a four-storey short stay apartment development. The Italian restaurant has been operating on Merrion Row since 1938.  Owners of the building Aviva will turn it into 23 apartments despite objections from local businesses and conservationists. The plans for the new apartment scheme include proposals for a new restaurant on Merrion Row, although the planning documents do not state whether it will have any relationship with the existing Unicorn restaurant. The Sunday Times, 7th February

Reidential Approvals An Bord Pleanala has approved two large-scale residential schemes in Dublin, despite objections from the respective local authorities. They have approved planning for a six storey 239 student bed development on Goatstown Road. The Board approval to Orchid Residential Ltd came after both Dun Laoghaire County Council and the Board’s own inspector recommended refusal. Seperately the Board also gave approval to MKN developments to construct four apartment blocks which will result in 265 apartments at Fostertown North in Swords. Fingal County Council recommended the scheme to be refused whilst 180 local residents objected to the scheme. The Irish Times, 8th February



Roscrea, Shannon The sale of both the Tesco supermarket in Roscrea and the Skycourt Shopping centre in Shannon closed recently for €7.8m and €6m. TWM managed the sale of both assets and saw strong interest from a range of potential purchasers. The Tesco in Roscrea was built in 2011 and let to Tesco Ireland on a 35-year lease, with an annual passing rent of €950k and a break in 2026. The sale of €7.8m will provide the purchaser with a net return of 11%. The Skycourt was acquired off market by a Munster based investment firm. The scheme is anchored by Dunnes Stores and Iceland with more than 90 mall units together with a 240-space surface car park and a 440-space, five-storey car park. The Irish Times, 3rd February



Arrow Capital Arrow Capital Partners has completed the acquisition of three logistical centres in Dublin and one in Longford. The assets were acquired in separate transactions and included the VWR Building, Northwest Industrial Estate, a c. 76k sq.ft unit leased to pharmaceutical company VWR International. They also purchased a unit in the Western Industrial Estate and the Parkwest Industrial Park. In Longford they acquired the Masterlink Building, which is let to Masterlink Distribution one of Ireland leading logistics operators. Arrow has acquired the assets as part of its €3 billion Strategic Industrial Real Estate (SIRE) platform, which invests in strategic industrial and logistics assets across Europe. The Business Post, 7th February

Lisney Q4 Report Lisney reported that 331k sq.m  of industrial accomadation transacted in 2020 with 43% of this occuring in Q4. The 2020 figue is slightly below that of 2019 but is well ahead of the long term average of 270k sq.m. It is also reported that there was a lack of suitable supply available. Supply fell to a historic low in Q2 2020 but did improve slightly in Q3 and Q4. At the end of December, the amount of stock available stood at approximately 350,000 sqm, which remains a very low level. Notably, it was close to one-third less than what was on the market at the height of the last property market cycle in 2006 / 2007. The vacancy rate across Dublin was just over 5% at the end of December with the regions at varying levels. Lisney Q4 Industrial Report



Home Solution Initiative Group It is reported in the Business Post that the fund who recently completed the purchase of distressed loans from AIB has up to €1bn available to acquire loans from banks and other institutions. The firm is reportedly in talks with a few other parties about a similar transaction. Cathal O’Leary, director of Arizun Asset Management, which is one member of the Home Solutions Initiative group, said the need for banks to cleanse their balance sheets meant there was an opportunity for them to add to their portfolio. The Home Solutions Initiative consortium is made up of Arizun, mortgage-to-rent scheme operator Home for Life and Everyday Finance, a credit management firm that the loans are transferring to. The Business Post, 7th February

SCSI Report According to the latest MSCI/SCSI Ireland Quarterly index average capital values in the office sector fell by 2.5% in 2020. Office rents fell by 0.6% and initial yields moved out by 28bps to 4.8% by the end of the year. Net operating income in the office sector grew by 1% largely due to rent free periods expiring as well as new lettings. This contrasts to declines of 15-20% in retail as closed retailers withheld rental payments or were unable to pay. Retail values fell on average by 19.1% with high street performances even weaker, as Henry Street shops fell 31% and Grafton Street values fell by 26%. Shopping centre values declined by 18.6% in 2020. The Irish Independent, 4th February

If you have an article which you would like to have considered for inclusion in our next weekly report, please contact us at info@origincapital.ie

Origin Capital funds senior debt transactions in the CRE investment sector, typically in excess of €3m, and has lent over €200m to clients since April 2015.

Origin Capital is a wholly owned subsidiary of LeBruin, a leading provider of corporate finance solutions.

If you would like to discuss how Origin Capital can help with your funding requirements, please contact us on 01 662 9264.