A mixture of old and new at Georges Quay, Cork

A CORK city office investment comes for sale this week for €2.5 million, just as a law firm in Ireland’s Top 20 prepares to move into it.

Conway Kelleher Tobin, set up in 1981 and with offices at 28/29 South Mall, Cork, and at Ormond Quay, Dublin, employs more than 50 professionals, and is now set to move from its South Mall base to No 2 Georges Quay, alongside the new Intreo offices, and adjacent to the proposed €60m Trinity Quarter office scheme, proposed for the Brooks site on South Terrace.

CKT Office Services, trading as Comyn Kelleher Tobin Solicitors, is to take the ground, first, and second floors of 2 Georges Quay on leases that will expire in 2023.

They have taken an assignment of a lease on the first and second floors from previous occupiers Certus, ex Bank of Scotland, who’d briefly located there from Grand Parade, and who withdrew from offices in Cork and Limerick in January 2015.

CKT this week said their move to and fit-out at new offices at Georges Quay was a significant investment which underpins their ambitious and committed plans for growth, following expansion into Dublin.

“The acquisition is great news for the whole firm and gives us a superb growth platform on which to build the next phase of our development. The opening of our Dublin office has been very successful. The new Cork office will offer a fabulous environment and enhanced facilities for staff and visitors,” said CKT managing partner, Deborah Moore.

It’s part of a high quality 15,600 sq ft quayside development done in the mid-2000s by Boland developments on the eastern end of Georges Quay, by the junction with White Street, and involved the conservation and refurbishment of No 1, previously the Exchange bar, and construction of the the new build portion of 13,000 sq ft at No 2, with design by Murray O’Laoire.

The buildings at 1/2 Georges Quay are now for sale for a receiver, Shane McCarthy of KPMG by a ‘best bids’ process by February 26 2016, with joint agents Edward Hanafin of Lisney, and Savills Cork, who guide at €2.5 million.

They say there’s a current rental income of €196,264, which will provide an investor with a net initial yield of 7.5%, with scope to increase rental income at rent review.

The ground floor of the three-storey 2,500 sq ft No 1 is let to a dentist on a 10 year lease from 2009, with no break options, and its upper floors are vacant.

CKT are currently fitting out their three floors, with a new lease on the ground floor, and are paying approximately 60% of the current rent. The third floor of No 2 is let to Otterbox, who have been in the building since 2010 and who renewed their lease for a further five years from April 2015, with a tenant break option in October 2017.

No 1/2 is a few minutes walk from South Mall, City Hall, and is a minute from South Terrace, where a number of Georgian era older buildings are currently for sale, while a formal launch of the Dairygold-acquired Brooks site is expected very shortly, via Lisney.

It may accommodate up to 190,000 sq ft of offices, in a c €60m development called Trinity Quarter.

The agents describe No 1 as a fully restored and refurbished landmark building at the corner of George’s Quay and White Street, and No 2 as a modern high-spec four storey L-shaped office building, finished to a high standard, and the sale includes six on-site car spaces, accessed from White Street.

There is strong demand for investment property of this type, say Lisney and Savills, noting the potential to grow income by getting tenants for the two upper floors of No 1, and at the rent review in 2018 on the first and second floors of No 2.

* Details: Lisney, 021-4275079; Savills, 021-4271371


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