9th January (Issue 429)

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.



Maldron Hotel, Dublin Airport Dalata Hotel Group has agreed a two-year extension to the licensing agreement of the 251-key Maldron Hotel Dublin Airport with its landlord, which was due to expire this month. Dalata is Ireland’s largest hotel operator, successfully managing the Clayton alongside the Maldron Hotels. The group’s portfolio is comprised of 53 three and four-star hotels with 11,412 rooms and a pipeline of over 1,300 rooms. Currently, it has 31 owned hotels, 19 leased hotels and three management contracts. React News, 3rd January

St Andrew’s Street, Dublin 2 The owners of waste giant KeyWaste have lodged plans to develop a new hotel above An Post’s branch on Andrew’s Street. Details of the project were included in a planning application to Dublin City Council, which outlined plans to redevelop old office space into a 111-bedroom hotel in the floors above the existing post office. This is the first application by Neville O’Boyle and Mark Butler, the founders of KeyWaste, to build a hotel at 19-24 St Andrew’s Street, which was put up for sale by An Post at a guide price of €9.5m in 2022. Records show the building has been acquired by Andrew’s Street Property Ventures Limited. Accounts filed by the firm show the building they acquired is now valued at €11.8m. The planning application for the site said the revamp of the building would not impact An Post’s branch on the ground floor. It added the new hotel would be built on the existing first to third floors and a six-storey extension would be created at the back of the building. A decision on O’Boyle and Butler’s latest application to build a hotel is expected next month. The Business Post, 4th January

Kenmare, Co Kerry Hoteliers Francis and John Brennan have agreed to hand control of their Lansdowne Kenmare hotel to local man Patrick Hanley, whose family owned and operated the hotel for approx. three decades. Mr. Hanley and his wife Aileen, experienced hoteliers who currently own the Strand Cahore seaside restaurant in Wexford, will have three years to complete the purchase of the Lansdowne, which the Brennan brothers put on the market along with their Park Hotel in Kenmare with a combined guide price of €20.5m last year. Patrick Hanley’s parents, Breda and Bobby, owned and ran The Lansdowne, which was then known as the The Lansdowne Arms, from 1972 until 2000. The Lansdowne Kenmare is a 28-bedroom boutique hotel in the centre of the south Kerry town. The Irish Times, 8th January

Hotel Accommodation The majority of hotels being used to house asylum seekers and homeless families is unlikely to return to hospitality use in the near future, Savills has predicted. The property agent said that the provision of asylum seekers and homeless accommodation on behalf of the state is seen as a longer term business agreement, and that it believes most of the hotel supply fulfilling these contracts “will not return to hospitality use in the short to medium term”. According to the latest data from Savills, approx. 12% of all beds in Fáilte Ireland registered properties were contracted to the Irish State for the provision of emergency accommodation as of the end of last year. This grew in a number of regional counties, where the government held over 20% of capacity out of normal and tourist use. The Business Post, 8th January



Dublin Airport Central Convenience food group Greencore has inked a deal for a new office headquarters at Dublin Airport Central. The company, which is headed by former DAA chief executive Dalton Philips, will occupy 10,333 sq. ft on the fourth floor of Block Two, The Green, from early 2024. Block Two is the final building to be delivered within phase one of the wider Dublin Airport Central scheme and is located immediately adjacent to Terminal 2 at Dublin Airport. The Irish Times understands that Greencore has signed a 10-year lease and agreed to pay a rent of approx. €36 per sq. ft. Dublin Airport Central’s tenant line-up already features several leading corporates including ESB International, Kellogg’s, IWG plc and Horseware Ireland. The Irish Times, 20th December

EY Ireland’s search for a new 200,000 sq. ft plus head office in the Irish capital has settled on a final shortlist, with a victor expected to emerge in the coming weeks. The sites understood to remain in the running include Westridge Real Estate’s Camden Yard, Clancourt Group’s Charlemont Street development, and the space LinkedIn is seeking to sublease at Wilton Park. The global professional services firm is targeting occupation in 2026. It currently occupies approx. 100,000 sq. ft in a cluster of offices on Dublin’s Harcourt Street, which it leases from the Kenny family’s Clancourt Group. React News, 4th January

BNY Mellon – the New York-headquartered US banking giant – has narrowed the scope of its search for 70,000 sq. ft plus of new office space in the city. The bank is believed to be running the rule over Marlet Property Group’s Shipping Office scheme and 4/5 Park Place, an office owned by Clancourt Group. In May, BNY Mellon said it would open a new digital research and development hub in Dublin. React News, 4th January

RTÉ Cork is to start the process of finding a new location in the city centre this month, with the current site at Fr Mathew Quay to go up for sale with a price tag of approx. €2m. It is understood that RTÉ has already viewed space in the One Albert Quay building in Cork city centre as a potential option when it moves from its existing site. The Irish Examiner, 8th January



Glenageary, South Dublin Redrock Glenageary has secured permission for a seven-storey, 138-unit apartment scheme for Glenageary, despite local opposition. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council granted planning permission for the development after a 97-page planner’s report concluded that it “is not considered likely to adversely impact on the amenity of adjoining sites”. Redrock’s application is a renewed attempt to build on the site at the junction of Sallynoggin Road and Glenageary Avenue after An Bord Pleanála in April 2022 refused planning permission to the company for a 147-unit build-to-rent Strategic Housing Development. That plan encountered strong local opposition. The firm withdrew plans for a 140-unit apartment scheme at the same location last September and lodged its current Large-scale Residential Development (LRD) scheme on October 31st last. The Irish Times, 3rd January

Glasnevin, Dublin 11 Plans for the redevelopment of the largest industrial land bank in Dublin since the Dublin docklands, facilitating the construction of thousands of homes serviced by rail and Luas lines, will be completed this year. Dublin City Council will this month begin meeting major landowners and other stakeholders in the Dublin Industrial Estate in Glasnevin to seek their input into the Ballyboggan local area plan which will govern the regeneration of 185 acres of vacant or underused industrial lands, located just 3km from the city centre. However, in submissions to the council, local residents have raised concerns about the level of development planned and have threatened to “oppose any attempt to build high-rise developments” near their homes. The estate stretches from the Finglas Road opposite Glasnevin Cemetery to the east, Ratoath Road at Ashtown to the west, Cabra to the south and Tolka Valley Park, which separates Cabra and Finglas, to the north. The Irish Times, 5th January

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 A vacant former nursing home in Ballsbridge will reopen in the coming days as a 220-bed emergency accommodation facility for asylum seekers, the Department of Integration has confirmed. St Mary’s Home on Pembroke Park beside St Conleth’s College will be used to house families seeking international protection for at least the next year. The Victorian building had until recently been owned by Richmond Homes which put the property on the market for €7m in September, just months after securing planning permission for a 64-unit BTR scheme. In a briefing document for public representatives, the department said the building was now owned by Goldstein Property Irish Collective Asset Management and leased by Burvea Unlimited Company on a five-year lease. The accommodation will consist of 40 rooms for a maximum of 220 people spread across three floors, with “multiple large recreational spaces, visitor/clinic rooms and a large dining hall”, the department said. The department said it was not possible to say how long residents would be staying at the facility but it said a one-year contract has been offered to the provider. The Irish Times, 3rd January

Ires Reit has recommended to shareholders that they vote against all the resolutions put forward by activist investor Vision Capital at next month’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM). In December Vision Capital, which has a 5% stake in Ires Reit, called for an EGM to allow shareholders oust five directors and to appoint five nominees proposed by Vision. In addition, the Vision resolutions seek the issue of a shareholder direction to the board to appoint an adviser to assist Ires in a strategic review process with a view to concluding a sale of Ires or its assets or a liquidation within the next 24 months, Ires Reit said. Ires Reit announced that the EGM will be held at the Clayton Hotel, Cardiff Lane on February 16. Ires Reit said that the Vision resolutions seek to take control of the company by seeking five of the nine existing board seats, and “to force the total liquidity of Ires in a defined period of time.” “The board believes this seriously risks the value inherent in the assets”, Ires said. The Business Post, 8th January

National Asset Management Agency (Nama) generated €319m in cash last year and is on track to report its 13th consecutive year of profitability, it said. That brings the total generated by the State-owned bad bank’s operations to €47.7bn since it was established. For the period January to June 2023, it reported a €26m profit, and will report a profit for the full year. The figures were published as part of a review of its progress during 2023. Last month the agency transferred an additional €350m of its surplus to the exchequer, bringing the total contributed by the State-owned bad bank to date to €4.25bn. Over its lifetime, the agency was expected to transfer €4.5bn of surplus back to the exchequer, a figure that has now increased to €4.9bn. Nama paid €32bn to acquire the loans that led to its existence. The agency delivered 420 houses throughout 2023, with a further 440 homes under construction or having funding approved on Nama-secured sites for delivery in 2024 and 2025. Between 2014 and the end of 2023, approx. 34,000 homes have been funded and facilitated by the agency, with 14,000 directly funded. The Irish Times, 4th January

House Prices DNG has forecast “moderate growth” in second-hand house prices this year, with the cost of resale properties to increase at a faster rate outside of Dublin. The real estate agency’s latest residential market review has predicted house prices in Ireland’s regional markets will rise by 4% this year, with growth in Dublin “in the low single-digits again”. However, it also highlights discrepancies in prices on a region-by-region basis, with the price of resale homes in the capital still tens of thousands of euros higher than those in rural areas. The price of a second-hand home outside of Dublin grew by 4.3% in 2023, compared to 7.6% in the previous year, according to data from DNG. This compares with a rise of 1.8% in the capital last year and 3.1% rate growth in 2022. First time buyers were the dominant players in the second-hand homes market in Dublin last year, accounting for 56% of home purchases. The Business Post, 3rd January



Conor Pass, Co Kerry The Government is close to a deal to buy the Conor Pass months after its American owner sought €10m for mountain grazing land, forestry and lakes high over Dingle. A draft agreement has yet to be settled definitively but the parties are working on the basis that the property will be taken into the ownership of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to be developed and managed for tourism. Overlooking Brandon Bay, the lands comprise approx. 1,000 acres of grazing land, approx. 400 acres of forestry and three lakes: Lough Atlea, Lough Beirne and Peddlar’s Lake. The price under discussion has not been disclosed, although a final deal is said to be close. The Irish Times, 8th January

Peter McVerry Trust TDs on the Oireachtas housing committee have called on the Peter McVerry Trust to appear before them to answer questions over the organisation’s future following months of financial turmoil at the housing and homeless charity. The trust told politicians that representatives of the organisation were not in a position to come before the committee in mid-January, claiming it would be “premature” to answer questions while two statutory investigations remain ongoing. The charity also said it could not discuss a recent €15m government bailout with TDs because conditions set out by the department of housing as part of its emergency funding had not yet been met by the charity. The Business Post, 5th January

Peter McVerry Trust Darragh O’Brien has cast doubt over the Peter McVerry Trust’s future involvement in major housing projects following an unprecedented €15m government bailout last month. The minister for housing was speaking after a series of reports in the Business Post revealed financial and governance issues at the housing and homeless charity. In November, the government approved emergency funding on an exceptional basis for the organisation. However the trust has been blocked from disposing of properties and assets without approval from the Department of Housing under the terms of the bailout. Speaking to the Business Post, O’Brien reiterated that there would be a restructuring of the charity – and that ministerial appointments would be made to the board – but said the “future scale” of the organisation must be examined. O’Brien said he expected to receive recommendations from an internal departmental oversight group by April on “how we go about reforming the organisation and the work that it does”. The Business Post, 31st December

Barrow Street, Dublin 4 Actavo has been awarded the €5m Dublin City Council contract to upgrade the areas around Google’s Barrow Street campus in the docklands. The project involving significant work around Barrow Street’s junctions with Grand Canal Upper and Ringsend Road will commence in the coming weeks. The project will involve resurfacing and repaving footpaths in the area and the installation of new traffic infrastructure, public lighting and street furniture. Actavo will also work on a section of the water main. Google, which is the major occupier of Barrow Street, previously agreed to contribute funding to a €7.5m refurbishment of the area but last year said it was no longer in a position to do so. The Business Post, 3rd January

Cootehill, Co Monaghan Abbott Ireland faces a fresh appeal against its planned expansion of an infant formula manufacturing plant in Monaghan from the owner of Bellamont Castle in Cavan. The life sciences giant has lodged two applications in recent years to expand its facility. In late 2022 the company made a planning application to the local authority to expand the facility. It was approved in February 2023 and then appealed to An Bord Pleanála by John Morehart, the owner of Bellamont Castle in Cavan. Morehart, whose property is based more than one kilometre away from the Abbott plant, attempted to appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála but was blocked by the planning authority. His leave to appeal was refused in March because he did not initially raise his concerns with Monaghan County Council when the planning application was first lodged by Abbott, which made his appeal to An Bord Pleanála ineligible. An Bord Pleanála has now decided to reopen the case prompted by Morehart’s appeal of Monaghan County Council’s decision in February 2023. The Business Post, 2nd January

Activate Capital, one of Ireland’s biggest domestic housing funds, has paid out another €1m dividend to directors, which has brought payouts up to approx. €3m. The agency, established in 2015, was co-founded by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Isif), the state’s sovereign wealth fund, and KKR. Isif contributed €400m to the fund while KKR supplied €175m, which would be loaned exclusively to developers of Irish residential projects. Since 2015, the firm has advanced loans worth more than €1.9bn to developers, which have funded the construction of more than 18,250 homes across 75 sites in Ireland. The Business Post, 7th January


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