One Albert Quay sale ‘signals confidence in sector’

The decision by a property investment company to pay up to €58m for an office block nine months ahead of completion, should give confidence to the developers of other major development in the pipeline for Cork city, the Cork Chamber has said.

One Albert Quay sale ‘signals confidence in sector’

Chamber chief executive Conor Healy said Green Reit’s conditional purchase of One Albert Quay from local developer John Cleary’s company JCD Group was a positive signal of the confidence in business growth in Cork’s city centre.

Mr Healy said there is a high demand for quality office accommodation and Cork now features prominently on the investment property map.

“This should give additional encouragement to those developments in the pipeline,” he added.

Last month, details of an estimated €500m worth of strategic development projects under way or in planning for the core of the city were outlined.

Among those was more office blocks on Albert Quay and Anderson’s Quay, a hotel and office block on Sullivan’s Quay, and another office block, retail units, and apartments on the former Brooks Haughton site.

Mr Healy said that in comparison to Dublin, rent is significantly lower in Cork.

“Over the last 10 years, we had not seen the level of development we should have seen,” he said. “Now, coming out of the recession, there is a pent up demand for office accommodation. That has led to optimism among investment companies.”

In confirming that it was to purchase One Albert Quay, Green Reit said the yield premium over Dublin was attractive, “particularly with the Cork office rental market at an earlier stage in the recovery cycle”.

It already has an €882m portfolio of 24 properties, almost two thirds of which are offices.

Those developments provide it with a €55.5m rent roll — One Albert Quay could add €4.1m to that. However, almost 95% of its current portfolio is concentrated around Dublin.

It says on its website: “By purchasing commercial property at a low point in the cycle and at a time when financial institutions continue to de-leverage, we aim to capture the recovery in the Irish economy and commercial property market.”

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