Suburban site is in big demand

A hot-in-demand Cork suburban residential building site gets offered for sale for the third time for its owners Eir, the new name for Eircom.

The again-rebranded telecom company plans a €350 million bond issue next year, and has said as part of its restructuring it will sell non-core assets to take advantage of commercial property demand.

This week it markets 12 properties, guiding €5.8m all-in via agents BNP Paribas, with Lisney as joint agents on three lots in Cork.

Most valuable is the Churchyard Lane, Ballintemple, property owned for decades by Eircom, and which went to market twice in the past five years.

Last time around, it was bid to well over €2 million via Lisney, when 17 interested parties gave pursuit in a far flatter market. It was withdrawn from sale by Eircom/Eir, and now has a guide price of €2.85 million, or €560,000 per acre.

Given the recovery in the residential market, paucity of such suburban sites and weight of demand for new homes, it’s certain to go over that guide, proving the wisdom of the company decision to take it off market and to re-offer it now.

“It’s the best infill residential development site to come to the market in Cork for some time, offered by private treaty, and it will attract strong interest from mainly residential developers both regionally and nationally,” states Ed Hanafin of Lisney.

The last comparable site was the former Nemo Ranger site of about nine acres on the Douglas Road, selling via Savills in 2012 for €3m to an undisclosed buyer who has sat on it, watching its value ratchet up.

And, a recent suburban sale was at Cleve Hill, where DTZ got c €3 million from Kildare/Leinster developers Bridgedale Homes/Oaktree Capital, for six acres for a low-density, up-market scheme. Planning has now been sought for 30 houses on the Cleve Hill site.

In contrast, a higher density development is likely for Eir’s site of 5.1 acres next to Cork Constitution Rugby Club.

This suburban area, between Douglas, Blackrock, Ballintemple, Ballinlough and Beaumont, is prime ‘chimney-pot’ heartland for homes, and came under intense interest a decade ago when developer Owen O’Callaghan/OCP agreed a €25 million purchase of Cork Con RFC, with plans to relocate the club to Ballyorban. OCP had also eyed up this Eir/Eicom site.

The Eir site of 5.1 acres has a lapsed planning for 140 units, mostly apartments (109), and it’s more likely that a builder would now go for semis and townhouses to suit market demand, with perhaps 50 to 70 units proposed.

Lisney’s Mr Hanafin can expect to see some of the same bidders as showed interest before, and there’s also a slew of Dublin-based investors and developers following Cork sites, he indicates.

Also being sold for Eir via BNP Paribas and Lisney are 3.97 acres plus depot building on to the main Clonakilty road just west of Bandon town, next to Bandon rugby club and near several motor dealerships. Guide price for this lot, again via private treaty, is €400,000.

A third Cork Eir lot with the same joint agents is at Quarry Road, Youghal in East Cork, guided at €150,000.

Details: Lisney, 021-4275079; BNP Paribas, 01-6611233


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