Commercial property: Developers jostling for suitable site acquisitions

THERE’S been quite a bit of jostling for site acquisitions for new homes around Cork city, with builders forced to closely analyse the pinch-points of successful acquisition of ‘raw’ stock/sites, versus likely sale margins, financing costs and sustainability/profitability.
Commercial property: Developers jostling for suitable site acquisitions

The scrutiny will continue in the coming months as a small suburban site in Togher, Cork city, with a recently-lapsed planning for ten units, comes to market guiding €350,000 at Lehenaghmore/ Doughcloyne in Togher, on the cusp of the broader Wilton catchment.

It’s within a short run along the Togher Road from Tramore Road, where developers Tom Murray and Paul Forde of Citidwell Homes sold out their 28-unit Sheridan Park en bloc to the City Council prior to Christmas, for €7.55 million, representing a value-for-money win for the City Council at an average of €270,000 per family home for social housing.

The development of 28 well-designed brick finished houses on the old Keating Bakery site (heralded this week by Housing Minister Simon Coveney as part of a c €100 million housing investment for Cork) was initially launched for private market sales last spring at unit prices from the mid €300,000s.

Cork City Council has similar-scale en bloc developments in the wings, announced this week at around 11 city sites.

These include 43 units set to go on site by Cherry Lawn in Cork’s Blackrock, as well as 65 units already commenced at Deanrock, Togher, to include five duplexes, dozens of family homes, and a community centre.

Having completed Sheridan Park, and selling it to the City Council as one lot, it’s understood that developers/builders Citidwell Homes (ex Murrayforde) are now set to move to commence construction within weeks of an upmarket scheme on Cork’s Blackrock Road.

They have bought the Cleve Hill site (previously associated with Howard Holdings) from Bridgedale Homes/Oaktree Capital, who had bought it two years ago from receivers for €3 million, and who’ve now flipped it for an undisclosed sum to Citidwell.

Citidwell last year sold a small number of other Blackrock Road new-builds at Bulls Lane for prices in the mid €500,000s.

They are now preparing to build 16 semi-detached homes, as well as 15 detacheds, at Cleve Hill, on the city end of the Blackrock Road overlooking Monahan Road.

Meanwhile, the 0.66 acre site at the foot of the hill at the Lehenaghmore junction/Togher Cross (pic, above) has a €350,000 price tag with estate agent Steven Denehan of Cohalan Downing Associates.

This site had planning (recently lapsed) for ten units in two blocks. It was granted in 2006 and extended in 2011.

Mr Denehan says a slightly higher-density application might also be successful, lowering the site acquisition costs below €35,000 per ‘stand’.

He describes the location as “an-edge -of-city residential site. Its surrounding area is mixed in character containing mature and modern residential developments.

“It’s certain to attract the interest of developers and investors alike, given its affordable asking price and positive planning precedent” he adds

Details: Cohalan Downing, Tel. (021) 4277717

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