Cork City office building hits the market for €16m

Webworks, Albert Quay, Cork

A Cork City office building is up for sale with a €16m price tag.

The building, Webworks, is adjacent to City Hall and in the shadow of the 17-storey Elysian tower.

It was initially developed as an IT incubator facility 12 years ago.

Currently, it is fully let to semi-state infrastructure company Ervia.

Originally developed by Enterprise Ireland, with Cork City Council and Howard Holdings, Webworks is located behind the former railway depot, Albert Quay House.

It faces Howard Holdings’ City Quarter scheme across the River Lee and adjoins the fully-occupied One Albert Quay office development.

Agents Lisney are selling the Scott Tallon Walker-designed property, of almost 43,000 sq ft with space over four floors and above-basement parking, for 44 cars.

Ervia, the semi-state agency charged with delivering critical national infrastructure for gas supply and water supply, now occupies the building as its shared services/business service centre.

It pays a rent of €800,000 per annum with 10.8 years certain on a long lease.

With a review expected in May 2019, rent may be expected to increase as it is currently let at below market rates, according to Lisney’s Cork managing director Margaret Kelleher.

“Office vacancy rate in Cork is falling and, at Quarter Two 2018, it is estimated at 12.8%, varying across city sectors and with very limited availability of Grade A accommodation in the city centre,” said Ms Kelleher.

Rental levels are under upward pressure in both the city centre and suburbs with increases witnessed in all locations in the past year. City centre rental levels for prime Grade A offices are currently in the region of €350 per sq m.

Meanwhile, new supply is under construction 100m from Webworks, at Navigation Square, with O’Callaghan Properties.

Clearstream Global Securities has been confirmed as the office block’s first tenant.

The proposed likely €16m investment sale of the Howard Holdings’ initiated and fully-let Webworks comes just after publicly-listed company Glenveagh Properties earlier this month confirmed its acquisition of the Howard Holdings Atlantic Quarter/Live at the Marquee site in the south docks for over €15m via CBRE.

Howard had envisaged up to 500 apartments in three towers, of 10, 20, and 30-storeys designed by Norman Foster. 

Glenveagh say they may seek to get up to 1,000 residential units on the 4.6 ha site.

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