Irish Life to sell off Cork and Limerick retail locations

The €9.5 million sale of Irish Life investment properties in Cork and Limerick includes two Patrick Street Cork units set for increased profile from next year, when the Capitol Cinema retail site is completed, bringing a strong anchor (Zara? H&M?) to this end of Patrick Street.

Forming part of the eight properties-strong ’CLIC Portfolio’ with Downing Commercial are Nos 77 and 78 Patrick Street, let to fashion chain Coast and mobile company Meteor, with individual valuations of €1.75 million, and €1.275m.

The CLIC Portfolio holds the promise of an overall net initial yield of 9.1% (once unlet space in an office block at the University Technology Park is let), and is offered in one, or several lots. 

Given the mix of locations (Patrick Street, Cork, and Limerick’s Cruises Street and William Street,) mixed values, remaining terms on leases and the retail/office mix, it’s likely to get most traction in separate lots, it is understood, and will have an appeal to a very broad range of investors.

On an individual basis, guides range from €325,000 up to €2.25 million for the 20,000 sq ft office building in Curraheen, near the proposed new university science park in the western suburbs, and where rents of €12 psf are expected for the vacant space in the UTC building, where current occupiers include De Care System and FBD Holdings. Current rent roll is €115,000.

Total income from the seven retail units (two in Cork, five in Limerick) is €664,000 per annum.

The CLIC sell-off comes as owner, Irish Life, is selling some of its smaller property holdings as part of an ongoing strategy of active portfolio management focus on larger properties. 

Irish Life has acquired a number of large assets, spending over €600 million over the last three years (including over €40m for a Mahon, Cork JCD-developed 200,000 sq ft office investment) to bring its Irish property portfolio to €2 billion.

“Irish Life will continue to have a strong presence in these markets, including an impressive six prime stores on Patrick Street, Cork,” notes agent John Downing. He said of the proposed disposals of the smaller Nos 77 and 78 Patrick Street “the properties will benefit from the new Capital Cinema Complex (presently under construction) which together with the ever increasing popularity of the English Market will bring new life to this part of Patrick’s Street further increasing pedestrian footfall.” Current rent at 77 is €110,000 pa, to go to €120,000 in 2017 at a 6% return, and €95,000 pa at no 78, and a yield of 7/1%.

In Limerick, there are also adjoining properties at 2 and 3 William Street, opposite Brown Thomas, with No 2 leased to H Samuel, guided at €1.5 million for a 9.5% net initial yield, and the smaller No 3 is let to Martin O ‘Connor Photography, guided at €325,000 for a return of 5.8%.

The other Limerick units are on pedestrianised Cruises Street, occupied by River Island, CeX and eir. Here, No 3 is let to Meteor for €400,00 paa, at a yieled of 8.4%, No 6a is let to CeX at €550,000 at a net yield of 8.7% while the larger unit 8a is let to River Island at €194,700 pa, on a lease due to expire in 2018: guide is €1.5 million at a return of 12.4%.

Irish Life’s agent John Dowing says he anticipates strong interest in the collection “given the lack of supply of prime investments for sale in the market currently. 

There has been strong occupier take-up in the prime retail locations recently by international retailers such as (in Cork) Superdry, Starbucks, TK Maxx, Holland & Barrett and Pandora.

“International occupiers are taking units in these prime high street locations and strong retail destination shopping streets before rents take off as a direct result of improving consumer demand and spend”, he stated.

Meanwhile, likely to have different investor profile inquiry is office building 2 at the University Technology Park, Curraheen. It’s a modern, 3rd generation, two- storey building with 83 car parking spaces. The building, say the agents, was designed with great flexibility to allow for single or multiple occupation. 

Tenants include FBD Holdings and DeCare Systems Ireland (DSI,) with the latter’s  lease due to expire in 2017. diate vicinity.

Details: Downing Commercial 021-4271000


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