Office deals being completed in the heart of Cork city

A number of new office occupiers and sale deals are coming to an end-of-year close in the heart of Cork city, at Lapps Quay, at City Quarter, and at the Elysian, where a new walk-in medical clinic is set to open next month and where a new restaurant letting is agreed. Plus there’s 12,000 sq ft of offices at the Elysian under active negotiation via Lisney.

Floor four at No 5 Lapps Quay is for sale for €800,000.

Hard-hat activity levels are visible this week at fit-out at the Elysian for health company Affidea, and at City Quarter, which is now inching back to full occupancy. And, into the suddenly frenetic fray comes the arrival of floor 4, at 5 Lapps Quay, with 4,100 sq ft of offices available to buy, at close to €200 per square foot. The entire floor in the Lapps Quay building developed by O’Flynn Construction is listed with Sam Daunt of Savills, and Dennis Guerin of Frank V Murphy & Co, at a guide price of €800,000, and both investor and owner-occupier interest is anticipated.

Vacated by an accountancy firm, the 4,100 sq ft floor is mostly in cellular offices and if bought by an investor “there’s a line of inquiries out there right now to rent it,” say the joint agents.

Indicative of the demand level may be the ‘sale agreed’ for floor three in the same building, 5 Lapps Quay, with similar floor plate but a more open office configuration. Savills had marketed the lower floor there, with an income of €75,000 at a guide of €800,000, and it is being sold to an investor for more than that amount. Over 20 inquiries were made on the investment, according to Mr Daunt.

Meanwhile, the 100,000 sq ft 2005-developed City Quarter, just to the east at Lapps Quay next to the Clayton Hotel and Port of Cork site, is moving towards full occupancy, having had a significant portion (38,000 sq ft of offices, restaurants, coffee pod and parking) acquired from Nama last year by a consortium of investors, for €14 million.

Since, Tequila Jacks has opened a sizeable restaurant bar in the old Boardwalk premises, the Club Brasserie has revamped as Docklands, and offices above are filling up.

Agent Seán Healy of Cushman & Wakefield has let 7,250 sq ft at the eastern end of floor four of City Quarter (previously occupied by the Irish Examiner/Evening Echo) to Canadian energy company Brookfield, who already occupy floor five there. And, he has also let 6,250 sq ft at first floor level to an international travel insurance provider. He had been seeking €26 psf on a new, 10-year lease for the space, vacated by Bord Gáis.

Still available to let at City Quarter is 8,980 sq ft at floor four, also quoting €26 psf via Cushman & Wakefield.

The occupier activity comes as developers JCD are building new offices at 85 South Mall, and are set to let 97 South Mall, and as O’Callaghan Properties are on site at Navigation Square, with the first 100,000 sq ft block of 350,000 sq ft to be built now coming out of the ground. OCP MD Brian O’Callaghan said “we are confident that confirmation of the first tenants will be made soon.” And, activity levels are strong too at the Elysian, which is currently up for sale for owners Blackstone with a €100m price tag.

A deal has been done on the former El Vino restaurant, says Margaret Kelleher of Lisney who put the 2,100 sq ft ground floor restaurant on the market in August, guiding €50,000 pa, but she declined to name the operator.

Having overseen the fit-out, completion and letting of the Elysian’s c 200 apartments, Lisney also have 12,000 sq ft of offices at the Elysian’s ground floor under active negotiation, guiding €25 psf.

And, health company Affidea who took over the former Euromedic medical scanning centre at the Elysian have now taken a further 6,000 sq ft at ground level for a walk-in minor injuries clinic, under a deal recently agreed with Irish Life Health and Laya Healthcare for their members.

Affidea are currently opening two such clinics, in Dublin and in Cork, similar to the VHI’s Swiftcare emergency care clinics which are now restricted to VHI members only. The Affidae clinic is due to open in December.

Details: Savills 021-4271371, Frank V Murphy & Co 021-4274204, Cushman & Wakefield 021-4275454, Lisney 021-4275079

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