Staff at Crosshaven Boatyard were told prior to Christmas the yard would be put on the open market in 2017, offered as a going concern.
It’s expected to attract interest from a cross-section of bidders, with some interested in the boatyard and storage/repair business, and others interested in other development prospects.
Some of the more inland sections would have scope for new housing development, in a prime site with water and marina views, and there may also be hotel interest given the population growth and recovery in businesses in Crosshaven in the past 15 years.
O’Flynn Construction have been active building several hundred houses in their Brightwater development in the village centre, behind Crosshaven House, since the early 2000s, with further phases now year in an adjoining new scheme of several hundred more, called Drake’s Point.
Four-bed semis are selling there from €335,000 this year, via Sherry FitzGerald.
Earlier and separately, moves to sell Crosshaven Boatyard were well advanced as far back as 2004 close to the height of the ‘boom’, when owners Doyles were in extended negotiations with Barry Supple of John F Supple & Co with others in a consortium for a sale, at reported values back then of c €6 million.
It’s understood that Doyle’s pulled out of the deal when news of it leaked out, and by 2007 the development market had turned to a low ebb.
Now, with a rising economy, housing and leisure demand, and even a resurgence in pleasure boat and yacht ownership, underlying values on the nine acre landbank would have risen once more in the assets and location of the Crosshaven Boatyard.
There’s been recent investment in the marina and boat handling equipment, as well as in yard surfacing.
It’s expected the entire boatyard property will be offered in late spring or early summer, and while no values are floated in advance of an agent’s launch, it could be worth in the region of €4-5 million.
The area, nine acres across both side of the Point Road and an integral part of Crosshaven’s marine and historic sailing roots, may have zoning adjusted by the time new LAPs come on stream by March, and could break down quite readily into two sections, one marine-related on the waterfront and reclaimed land side, while the other section by the large, existing sheds and unutilised land, could be developed for residential and leisure/hotel uses.
Part of the overall site was the grounds of the famed Majorca Ballroom, which had its heyday in the 1960s and early 1970s when developed by brothers Murt and Jerry Lucey; at one stage, up to 30 buses would leave Cork city on weekend nights ferrying thousands of dancers to ‘Crosser’, and big name draws included Dickie Rock and the Miami, as well as Roy Orbison.
Crosshaven Boatyard itself dates over 60 years, to the mid 1900s, an integral part of the community’s maritime history and was set up by Sessions, before being acquired by Dick Leonard and Denis Doyle in the 1970s.
Full ownership subsequently passed to Denis Doyle and his family, around 1978, and the yard is where several of his Moonduster yachts were built, as well as the early 1970s yacht Gypsy Moth V for Sir Francis Chichester, and the St Brendan replica for Tim Severin.
Currently employing seven, the yard no longer builds boats, but moors, services and stores them, as Crosshaven comes up to the 300th anniversary of the 1720 founding of the RCYC sailing club.
Requests to the Doyle Shipping Group for comment on the proposed sale were unsuccessful this week, but Crosshaven Boatyard manager Matt Foley yesterday confirmed to the Irish Examiner that he had been told by the yard’s owners that they intended to concentrate on the group’s core stevedoring business in Dublin, Cork, and elsewhere, and intend to offer it for sale as a going concern during 2017.