Multi-million euro deals for Cork garages

The former Dennehys Cross Garage site is back on the market for €3-€3.5m.

MULTI-million euro garage deals, one in overdrive, the other seen almost in the rear-view mirror, feature in Cork city and surrounds this week, coincidentally via the same estate agents, Casey & Kingston.

In one, they offer one of two former Dennehys CrossGarage Ltd sites, between UCC and CIT and close to major hospitals, back to the market, now seeking €3m-plus/€3.5m for a half acre.

It’s been mothballed and unused since 2005 when it was acquired for redevelopment. It was sold in the interim to Cairn Homes as part of a Ulster Bank portfolio asset sale, and sold subsequently to a private investor in 2016, guided at €1.5m.

And, the other deal sees a former, but modern, 10,000 sq ft garage showrooms on two acres at the Blarney Business Park selling for close to €1m to Hertz Car Sales Cork. The company, closely associated with the car rental giant and part of the Boland Group, is to sell on former rental vehicles, across most car marques. It is Hertz’s third Irish car fleet sales outlet, having already established one in Dublin’s NCR at Phibsboro in 2016, and at Cork’s Alfred Street/Lower Glanmire Road in 2017 (see details, below.)

Agent Sam Kingston of Casey & Kingston brings the long-mothballed, prime suburban half acre site, which accommodated Dennehys Ford garage for almost 70 years, back to the market after lying idle for a decade. Truly prime, it’s at the western suburban junction cross of Wilton Road and the Model Farm Road, at Dennehys Cross. Mr Kingston says it’s possibly the most visible undeveloped suburban available in Cork.

It’s guided at €3m-€-3.5 million for half an acre, well back to boom-time site purchase levels in the Victoria Cross, Dennehys Cross vicinity, when lesser sites were selling for up to €2m per acre on the axis with Victoria Cross. Back then, the value attributed to the sale of the Dennehy family’s two Dennehys Cross sites, totalling three acres, in 2005 was put at an unconfirmed €20m.

Buyers of those associated Dennehy family sites were local Cork developers Frinailla, who’d also acquired a corner shop for €500,000 by the former, smaller garage site, next to the church. It has a lapsed planning for 31 residential units, over basement.

It’s now expected to be developed for apartments, most likely for the student letting market, and buyers could include any of the larger specialist providers now represented in Cork, and/or UCC.

The former garage showsrooms on two acres at the blarney Park sold to Hertz

UCC didn’t, however, purchase the last time it was offered, at €1.5m in 2016, and has since acquired the Crows Nest site for student accommodation, with a high-rise proposal in the planning process. Mr Casey declined to identify this site’s 2016 buyer, other than to say he was a private investor. Sources say it had made €1.3m.

The larger, c 2.5 acres Dennehys garage and pub site diagonally across the busy road junction has since been developed, for 140 apartments and retail/commercial space, including a Tesco Express and a two-storey Ramen restaurant, and was acquired in 2013 by the Comer Brothers, via Ulster Bank’s Project Gemini, for €14 million.

Coincidentally, when Dennehys closed their Ford dealership (they’d been in occupation since 1936) they moved business to the Drive Motor Group, an amalgamation of marques, on a five acre site at the Blarney Business Park, to purpose- built showrooms.

And, just open this week at the rebooted Blarney Business Park is Hertz Car Sales Cork, who acquired Unit C/ Block 15000, with 10,500 sq ft showrooms on one acre, plus a further undeveloped acre, prominently facing the N20 Cork-Limerick Road. It had carried a guide of €750,000 with Declan Hickey of Casey & Kingston, and is understood to have sold to Hertz for between €900,000 and €1m, after bidding from other parties, including an investor.

The Blarney Business Park is now owned by John Cleary Developments, who have just completed a major 50,000 sq ft industrial/logistics building there, fully let to ILC Dover and to the GLS Group. Paul O’Connor, Hertz sales director, said the purchase allowed for considerable future expansion and fitted the company’s business model to sell on rental cars directly, while they also would continue to sell via dealers. Hertz let and operate most car marques, and sell ex-rentals from 2018 back to 2015, and have 50 cars now for sale at Blarney, plus 25 more at Lower Glanmire Road: that’s in a more constrained, internal showrooms site with no parking, by Kent railway station and the JCD Penrose Dock and BAM/Clarendon HQ/Penrose Wharf development sites.

Typical resales are of cars priced in the broad €10,000-€20,000 category, and all are Irish, including some which were rented in Northern Ireland. Among the other occupiers at the Blarney Business Park is the NCT Centre: a €2,000 ‘scrappage’ offer on display at Hertz new showrooms may pay a dividend, with a pointed appeal “to disappointed, failed NCT car owners,” quipped Mr O’Connor.

If failure hurts, try Hertz?

Details: Casey & Kingston 021-4271127

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