By Tommy Barker
There’s a sale agreed, at over €16 million, of the 43,000 sq ft Webworks building, next to Cork City Hall and the Elysian. It’s understood to be to a European fund, after considerable interest was shown in the fully occupied building, where an expected 2019 rental uplift fuelled investor demand.
Put to market with Lisney Cork in June, Webworks is fully occupied by Ervia and is currently rented at €800,000 pa, or €16.50 psf with 10 years left on a long lease, currently showing a 4.6% yield but due a May 2019 review. The building was developed by Howard Holdings with Enterprise Ireland, and houses 340 employees and was offered via agent Margaret Kelleher of Lisney for receivers KPMG.
However, as it hasn’t yet closed out, the sale isn’t recorded in the official Lisney Q3 Cork office and industrial market report just issued; nor is a significant office deal, in the former ACC bank section which is understood to be to a State-related entity, long-agreed at the Elysian, but which has not yet been fully signed.
Meanwhile, on the broader front, Lisney’s Cork Q3 reports a significant amount of deals and office activity, but notes that it was below the exceptionally strong Q2 2018, distorted by the ‘Big Apple’ 15,000 sq m expansion of its European HQ at Cork’s Hollyhilll.
Q3 activity was dominated by lettings, not sales, and the space size of deals was also up over the comparable year period, says the Lisney report
: “the average amount of accommodation taken by occupiers has grown. It was 550 sqm in the year to September 2017 and was 1,100 sqm in the same period this year (600 sqm excluding Apple)
. Over 33,500 sqm has been transacted in the year to September, far healthier than the 13,230 sqm seen in the same nine-month period in 2017 (due again to Apple’s expansion), while the number of transactions has grown from 24 in 2017 last year to 30 so far this year.