Tunnel site for a dig-out

A 32-acre landbank “with scope to be the next Eastgate Business Park” has come for sale alongside the Jack Lynch Tunnel in Cork, right by where new roundabout junctions are proposed for the €100m Dunkathel interchange upgrade.

Sold at one stage for €30m, and now being disposed of for receivers KPMG, the 32-acre plot has an asking price of €2.2m, or €62,500 per acre for primely-set industrial/warehouse heartland territory, with possible higher end/office uses in coming years.

Part of the former 100-acre Mitsui Denman manganese dioxide manufacturing plant, it has already sold twice for redevelopment, but still remains fallow or, at least, brownfield, with heavy old plant removed.

The Little Island lands occupied for decades by Mitsui Denman made €15 million in 2003, acquired by SWS and South Coast Transport, who outbid development interests at the time.

South Coast Transport company had planned to use its EPA waste licence and ponds for construction and demolition waste during the height of the building boom.

Three years later, developers came back to the bidding fray for what was seen as a superbly-sited landbank so close to the Jack Lynch Tunnel.

In 2006, SWS and South Coast Transport sold 32 acres of their 100-acre purchase for €30 million to Howard Holdings, banked by EBS in a strong foray into the commercial market.

Howard planned to use it to decant port operations and bulk goods industries from Cork city’s quays, to allow for city docklands renewal.

By 2008, Howard Holdings had acquired major Cork docklands assets, including the former Tedcastle coalyard 11-acre site at the Marina for what was described as a “transformational” €1bn scheme called Atlantic Quarter with a 30-storey tall centrepiece.

Tunnel site for a dig-out

Now, the Little Island former Mitsui site that was to play a key part in that vaunting docks renewal ambition is being sold via estate agent Brian Olden of Cohalan Downing for receiver Kieran Wallace of KPMG.

It is to be sold by tender by December 31, 2015; at the €2.2m guide a diverse variety of interest is expected to be shown.

There’s finally a pick-up in industrial demand in the Cork region, though building values are still low and below replacement cost in most cases, so this will be a future play for some bidders.

There’s a scarcity of high-bay warehousing, while the adjacent Eastgate Business Park is close to full occupation, and buildings are being completed at nearby parks such as Wallingstown, Harbour Point and Courtstown, where DB Schenker last year bought a 80,000 sq ft unit for c €4 million.

Cohalan Downing describes the site as “a recognised industrial hub with a pivotal location and excellent road network.”

Details: Cohalan Downing 021-4277717


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