The arrival of a recently-merged credit union, with strong branding, on Cork city’s traditional banking and financial services heartland and where older office buildings are still selling at €1-€4m values, is indicative of the changes across a range of professions and the banking sector there in the past decade.
Recent years have seen AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, NIB, ACC and others all leave or sell up South Mall premises, although in some cases BofI and AIB had several branches or entities on the Mall and were rationalising/reordering space and branch needs.
Now, a compact 5,600 sq ft four-storey office building at 24/25 South Mall has come for sale as an investment, guiding €1.15 million and currently under offer just below the €1m price level and getting very active inquiries.
No 24/25 comes just as Lisney have terms agreed on 1 South Mall facing City Hall and the School of Music, likely to have gone over its €2.7m guide to an as-yet undisclosed private buyer, for an unconfirmed sum over €3m.
And, across the street, fit-out work for new tenants has been ongoing at 89/90 South Mall, the former Norwich Union House, sold by Aviva Investors and with a rental income of €338,000 pa.
No 89/90 had a guide of €4.25m via Savills and is understood to have been acquired by developer John Cleary who negotiated the deal at the same time as he officially opened the €58m One Albert Quay, which has been sold as an investment to Green REIT.
Mr Cleary has already commenced upgrades to the white-tiled 1970s office block, with KMPG among existing tenants, and among his first new tenants for 89/90 is Eventbrite, the global self-service ticketing and registration platform, which plans to grow its European customer-support centre in Cork to 50 jobs over the next 30 months.
Meanwhile, back at the more compact 24/25 South Mall, its c 1,500 sq ft ground floor was let a few months ago to the recently-named First South Credit Union.
First South was formed in December 2015 following the merger of the 55-year old Ballyphehane Credit Union, with St Finbarr’s Credit Union, giving a combined membership base of 20,000, and two branches, South Mall and Ballyphehane.
First South negotiated taking on the remaining lease at 24/25 South Mall, vacated by the AA a few years ago: it has a headline rent of €43,000, with the lease due to expire in March 2019.
The deal was negotiated by Sam Daunt of Savills, with Sam Kingston of Casey and Kingston for the landlords, understood to be a small consortium.
Now, Mall-based estate agent Tom O’Driscoll is selling the bite-sized no 24/25, which he notes has 5,600 sq ft over four floors.
The other tenants in the building include financial services specialists PD Mehigan & Co, who occupy several levels, as well as the national housing charity, Threshold, and Murphy MacNamara solicitors, the latter two on short leases due to expire this year.
It has lift access, mains services and gas heating, with tenants paying service charges.
Current income is €83,444 pa, says Tom O’Driscoll, adding “it’s a prime location in the heart of Cork city’s principal professional and commercial office thoroughfare.”
Thos J O’Driscoll 021-4270435
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