By Tommy Barker
FEARS of a hard Brexit are feeding into demand for quality industrial and logistics space for firms dealing with other EU countries, it’s claimed, as a developer pledges to fully complete a largely moth-balled and part-occupied 50-acre business park, near Cork’s Blarney.
The pledge comes as new jobs are already set to flow into the brand-new 51,000 sq ft light manufacturing and industrial building, Block 9007, at the Blarney Business Park, on the fringes of Cork city, next to the Cork-Limerick N20.
It is being developed by John Cleary Developments, who bought the 2000s part-developed Blarney Business Park off-market via Savills earlier this year.
Today, having built the first new structure there in over a decade, improved internal routes and branding, JCD Group say they are “fully committed to developing the remainder of the 50-acre business campus, which has all of the necessary internal roads and infrastructure in place.”
JCD say that the recent lettings to US engineering company, ILC Dover, and to logistics firm GLS, both of which have been located in Cork’s Little Island “are a strong endorsement in both the park and the location.”
Both firms’ names had been linked, previously unconfirmed, to this building in these editorial pages in recent weeks. Last week, the IDA announced that ILC Dover (who manufacture single-use powder handling solutions for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries) is to create 70 new jobs over the next two years at its new production facility in Blarney Business Park.
ILC Dover’s new facility will be operational by the end of March 2019, while GLS are already in occupation and operational at the site.
It’s understood that rents of circa €8 psf have been secured, with CBRE’s Garrett McClean acting for ILC Dover, and both CBRE and Savills are to act as joint agents in future lettings at the Blarney Business Park, describing it as a reboot of what was initiated there in the 2000s.
They bill it as “the transformation of Blarney Business Park as a new industrial, logistics and business hub for the Munster region, continuing to gather pace following theses announcements,” and say that there is evidence of pent-up demand for such new facilities.
Isobel O’Regan of Savills, with CBRE’s Denis O’Donoghue say “there are currently a number of inquiries for this type of building in the Munster region, with many of the companies citing potential issues arising from a hard Brexit as a major factor in why they are looking to locate, or expand, in Ireland, particularly to serve existing clients in the EU.
“Lack of any new development in this sector for over 10 years is also seeing the indigenous/ MedTech sectors looking for best in class accommodation incorporating high bay specification in this sector,”says CBRE’s Mr O’Donoghue.
“We are also seeing increased interest from international investors looking at purchasing these types of buildings, once fully occupied,” adds Savills’ Ms O’Regan.
Set 7km from Cork city off the N20 Cork-Mallow Road (which is due to be upgraded to M20 Cork-Limerick motorway status) the park was purchased by JCD Group in May, due to what is says is its strategic location, along with a shortage of new, grade A high bay industrial buildings in Cork.
“Given the increase in demand for new industrial/logistics buildings in particular, and the fact that the just completed building was fully-let on completion proves it is an attractive location for both multinational and indigenous companies,” says the JCD spokesperson, welcoming ILC Dover and GLS to the Blarney Business Park, adding it is “really encouraged by the level of interest we have received from perspective occupiers, since acquiring the site.”
Apart from developing over 850,000 sq ft of Grade A offices in Cork in the past decade, JCD also has developed for logistics and light industry at places like North Point, in Blackpool and, now moving a bit further out the N20 to Blarney Business Park, it adds “we are committed to completing the entire site over the next number of years, and to continue to develop new buildings on spec or specific build to suit for individual requirements.”