Apple and Boots tenants in €34 million Cork investment property sale

Half Moon Street development Cork city, anchored by Apple Europe and Boots Pharmacy.

Cork City's curvaceous Half Moon Street development, anchored by Boots chemist at its lower level as its main flagship pharmacy in Cork, and occupied overhead by offices for Apple Europe, is for sale as an investment, with a guide price of €34 million.

Developed on a painstakingly assembled site in the 2000s, facing the rear of Corks' leading cultural institutions the Opera House and the Crawford Gallery, the Half Moon Street project was completed in 2009, done by the late Owen O'Callaghan, in tandem with his company OCP's Opera Lane retail and apartment development on Academy Street and St Patrick's Street.

It earns a current income of €2.6 million, is described as “one of the most significant prime investment opportunities to launch to the market in Cork in recent years.

Half Moon Street development Cork city, anchored by Apple Europe and Boots Pharmacy.

National and overseas investor demand is expected, given the offer of a 7.07% return on the investment based on current rents.

The striking building of almost 120,000 sq ft, and designed by Wilson Architects in a glazed curve which reflects and mirrors the bulbous top of the Crawford Gallery red brick extension, stretches from the corner of Paul Street and plaza, along Half Moon Street from Emmet Place, and up and along a portion of Lavitts Quay, close to previous O'Callaghan Properties developments on the quay and at Paul Street.

Owen O'Callaghan with the Opera Lane/Academy Street development behind him. Swedish store H&;M opens this morning 1st October 2009. Pic: Larry Cummins.

Among the properties previously on the site was Arthurs' electrical services company, and the garage and newsprint store for the Cork Examiner/Evening Echo, the old HQ of Thomas Crosbie Holdings, and the Cork Arts Society, in a building still preserved and now occupied by Half Moon OCP tenants Henry J Lyons Architects.

Also relocated during the development was Matthews, the family-owned active outdoors leisure and clothing company, who'd occupied the prime corner slot on Paul Street in the overall redevelopment site.

They were first wooed by rival developers, Howard Holdings, who planned a hotel and mixed uses on the quay and along Half Moon Street, but which was eventually acquired by O'Callaghan Properties. Among the tenant mix is a hair salon, Koppers.

Jack Doyle in parade through Half Moon Street , on a pony and trap, after his performance outside Cork Opera House on September 9, 1933.

Selling agents of the blue-chip tenanted building are CBRE and Savills, and vendor Brian O'Callaghan, now MD of O'Callaghan Properties, said they were bringing the investment to the market “as a direct response to the high levels of interest from both Irish and international investors in Cork in recent months."

We are currently developing the largest office complex in Cork at Navigation Square and the sale of Half Moon Street will further help to position Cork as a high-quality investment location for institutional investors.

There's a weighted average unexpired lease term (WAULT) of 4.12, and a WAULT to the expiry of nine years.

Domhnaill O’Sullivan of Savills, noted "a dearth of assets of this grade on the marketplace. It is surrounded by a myriad of local amenities with a waterfront setting and extensive views of the River Lee. Its close proximity to prime retail on Patrick Street and Opera Lane will also prove attractive to prospective investors”.

View from the rooftop of Half Moon Street Development, Cork. Pic: Denis Scannell.

Joint agent Kyle Rothwell of CBRE added there was scope to boost rents, especially the offices currently rented to Apple Europe at €22 psf, with "significant asset management and reversionary potential".

"We believe this will appeal to both domestic and international firms looking for strong value add potential.”

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