Offices developed by two of the Celtic Tiger’s busiest Munster developers, John Fleming and John Barry’s Castlelands Construction, in the Cork county towns of Bandon and Mallow have been sold to investors, in deals totalling €3m.
Going well over its €750,000 guide to fetch over €1m via an electronic ‘click to purchase’ online sales process with Savills Cork was the former HQ and warehouse of Fleming Construction, on the Cork side of Bandon.
The property, on 1.17 acres, was built in 2000 and comprises 12,000 sq ft of office in a two- and part three-storey section plus 16,800 sq ft of warehousing, currently let on a short-term lease to a Fleming-related company.
There’s market speculation that the puchaser may be linked to former owner and developer John Fleming, but Savills would only comment to say it had been acquired by an investor, indicating that Flemings had made no direct approach regarding its purchase.
It attracted over 20 bidders in the ‘click to purchase’ online disposal.
West Cork-born John Fleming was one of the early major casualties of the crash, going bankrupt in 2010 with debts of c€1 billion, and emerged from the UK bankruptcy process in 2011.
A Fleming company, Donban (Bandon spelled backwards) took up engineering projects in Ireland, and in the UK under Donban UK: in 2013 Mr Fleming set up Tide Construction, whose turnover rapidly grew last year in the UK to €100m, recording a profit of almost €10m, working on projects from a 29-storey student accommodation tower to hotel conversions, and at Battersea Power Station, and continues to pioneer work on modular building construction, through another company Vision Modular Systems.
Meanwhile, also changing hands in the run-up to Christmas was Mallow Business Park, a high-quality build developed by Castlelands Construction’s John Barry in his native town of Mallow. It originally included a HSE Primary Care Centre, which didn’t form part of this investment sale and is in separate third-party ownership.
Offered by Savills Cork at a guide price of €1.85m last autumn, the assets included the substantially-let Blackwater House with rental income of €241,00, with main tenant Irish Water since 2013, and almost seven acres of undeveloped lands, in two portions.
Terms have been agreed well in excess of the €1.85m guide, likely to have tipped the €2m mark, and the buyer is indicated as an investment fund who saw value in the quality buildings and uplift and development potential.
“It’s a good product and ticked lots of boxes for buyers, and from a regional perspective it’s interesting to see the recovery and investor interest spreading to county towns,” observed Niall Guerin of Savills.
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