Cork landmark on sale for €6.25M

The building that hosts Waterstones bookseller in Cork city centre is for sale for €6.25m, writes Property Editor, Tommy Barker

The investment property is close to the €45m, new Capitol development, at the western end of St Patrick’s St, by the Grand Parade in the city centre. It has just over five years left to run on a 35-year lease, dating from March 1988.

Number 68-69 St Patrick’s St has gone to the open market at a time of reported bounce-back in print and books sales, and as Waterstones, earlier this year, reported a doubling in their Irish profits, as well as recovery across the board in the UK, after a 2011 rescue plan under chief executive, James Daunt.

Profits rose to £9.8m (€10.9m) across its 250-plus stores, and Irish profits rose to €1.9m for 2016, on revenues of €14.2m, with Mr Daunt saying their Irish shops were “in a happy place”, with Cork doing “brilliantly”.

Waterstones, the early 1980s-established company, controls Hodgis Figgis in Dublin and Waterstones Cork. It pays an annual rent of €770,000 for its Cork footprint, according to Brian Edwards, of CBRE’s new Cork offices, and that equates to a net initial return of 11.36%, after standard costs.

Waterstones occupies 11,000 sq ft, with 6,300 sq ft at ground, and has dual access to pedestrianised Paul Street and to St Patrick’s Street.

Adjacent occupiers include Boots, McDonalds, Argos, Dealz, Søstrene Grene and Bank of Ireland, with Lifestyle Sports and Home Sense across the street in the new Capitol.

Mr Edwards said book sales have increased in Ireland and in the UK, in 2016, “and, in particular, the rise of the printed book is part of a global shift.”

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