Pivotal point property at the Kinsale Road roundabout

BACK at the commercial market’s height, land in key Cork suburbs was fetching €2.5m/3m an acre.

Pivotal point property at the Kinsale Road roundabout

Then, this high-visibility site by the city’s strategic Kinsale Road roundabout was bid up to a considerable €9.8m in the turning-point year of 2007, but the sale stalled as the market plummeted.

Now, it’s back on a much-chastened market, still in its pivotal setting, only now priced at €800,000 (€260,000 an acre,) via agents Savills.

The 3.1 acres is tucked into a road junction underneath the Kinsale Road flyover, part of the city’s ring-road infrastructure: 80/100,000 cars use the junction and flyover daily and it’s said to be the second-busiest road nationally, outside of Dublin.

The land had been used for distribution by Kerry Foods, who offered it via Isobel O’Regan and Niall Guerin, of Savills, back in 2007, for €9m, and it went beyond that in bids, before the deal stalled.

Back then, too, it was touted as a possible corporate HQ/office site, which could have been modelled on the lines of London’s Ark, at Hammersmith, it was suggested.

Now, its use could be more prosaic; perhaps as a car sales/showrooms. An example could be the new Audi showrooms at the western extension of Cork’s ring road, by the Bandon Road roundabout/flyover, which replaced a builders’ providers.

This week’s relaunch of the site, for €800,000, puts it within reach of several possible bidders and alternative users — but it’s likely traffic and access issues will have to be addressed and discussed with planners and council engineers, given its proximity to the roundabout junction and a slip road.

A triangular site, it’s reached off the city link road, 2.5kms from its terminus at City Hall. It’s just to the south of a public park being created by Cork City Council, on the old Kinsale Road landfill site.

According to Savills, “the surrounding area is commercial in nature, comprising a mix of retail warehousing, car showrooms and petrol filling stations, while neighbouring occupiers include Smyths Toys, Harvey Norman, Keary’s, Woodies and the Kinsale Road Business Park and Barry’s Tea.”

Also nearby are two Musgrave depots, one in Ballycurreen, the other in Turner’s Cross. Zoning is ‘existing built-up area’ in the Carrigaline electoral LAP, “which carries a flexible approach to development proposals,” says Mr Guerin, but a section is also in the Tramore Valley IAP area, with other strategic planning goals expected.

It’s being sold on an unconditional basis, and not subject to any planning approval, so it will be up to a new owner to add the value, after discussions with planners.

“The market has improved significantly for speculative land acquisitions, with private-equity groups and development companies actively looking at the Cork market. This is a significant change to the land market in the last 12 months. The subject property retains a very high-profile location — and this will undoubtedly drive interest levels,” predict the agents.

Details: Savills, 021-4271371

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