Retail pick-up boosts investments in Cork city centre

Investment property activity is continuing through to year’s end in and around Cork city centre streets by the Penneys site, which is expected to go forward for planning permission next month for a major redevelopment, after a two-year site assembly

Retail pick-up boosts investments in Cork city centre

Penneys/Primark has spent more than two years and €15 million buying up properties on Patrick Street, Cook Street and Oliver Plunkett Street, to enable it to double its city centre presence, from 35,000 to 80,000 sq ft, and its plans have had a ripple effect on confidence, values and occupancy levels on neighbouring streets.

Already, Penneys’ plans, plus redevelopment moves at Merchants Quay shopping centre, have prompted the start of a domino effect of relocations along Patrick Street; there’s a marked impact on previously high vacancy levels, while the opening of Superdry in October played a role in restoring retail confidence, allied to a surge in consumer spending.

Under very active negotiation is the planned investor ‘flip’ on the McDonalds investment at Winthrop Street, which went to market a month ago guiding at €5.2million via agents Cohalan Downing.

It’s expected to sell well over the guide, showing a quick profit for its Dublin-based buyer, who only purchased in 2014 for €4m plus.

It has an annual income of €372,000 pa from the fast-food corporation.

And, a just closed sale this month is No 40-41 Marlboro Street, occupied by travel company Trailfinders and which went to market several months ago guiding at €1.2m via joint agents DTZ and Casey and Kingston.

It has been purchased by “a corporate entity”, says surveyor Eoin Ryan of DTZ Sherry FitzGerald this week, with the expectation that the buyer is, indeed, Trailfinders itself.

It sold for under its guide, likely to have been around €1.1m.

Previously trading as a bar, Billy Morgan’s, No 40-41 had been owned by investor/developer Joe O’Donovan who was getting €135,000 pa, on upward only reviews, and also in the purchasing mix this time were private investors, lured by the promise of a yield of up to 11%, on an investment held on a 25-year lease from 2006.

The property has 1,500 sq ft retail, with internal access to a further 500 sq ft overhead.

Also sold by Lisney by Patrick Street was the former Victoria Hotel, making c €750,000 and acquired by investor/bookmaker Joe Donnelly who already owns much of the ground floor retail investment on this block with access to Patrick St, Marlboro St and Cook St.

That 35,000 sq ft purchase primarily of upper floor space, needs considerable refurbishment, and a retail/department store type use may be on the cards.

Meanwhile, hopes are high of a start in retail development construction in 2016 at the Capitol cinema site at the western end of Patrick St and Grand Parade, acquired by John Cleary Developments.

Avoca, perhaps, snuggling up to the English Market?

Details: DTZ, 021-4275454; Cohalan Downing, 021-4277717

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