Developer 'getting out of UK' to invest €400m here
Brexit causing UK 'immense problems' says Ziggurat chief
The head of UK-based student accommodation developer Ziggurat has said his company is "getting out of the UK completely and investing all our money in Ireland".
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Ziggurat founder and managing director Matthew McAdden said while the decision of the British electorate to vote in favour of Brexit was causing "immense problems" for the UK, he did not see any adverse impact for the Irish economy which he described as "very, very strong".
He said: "We genuinely don't see an [adverse] impact of the 'leave' [Brexit] vote in the UK which is causing us immense problems in the UK.
"We are getting out of the UK completely and investing all our money into Ireland. We just don't see an impact of the 'leave' vote on the economy of Ireland. If anything, it might be of benefit."
The Ziggurat chief confirmed his company's plans to invest around €400m in 4,000 new student units in Dublin, Cork and Galway.
The UK developer is already well known in the Irish marketplace having acquired and converted the former Montrose Hotel opposite UCD's Belfield campus in Dublin to student accommodation.
According to McAdden, the Montrose property is already near full occupancy with "just a handful of rooms left". This is despite the fact that the average cost per room has increased since last year to €256 per week. Ziggurat has now acquired sites on Dublin's Upper Dominic Street and on the North Circular Road where it plans to build facilities capable of housing 380 and 420 students respectively.
The location of the developments will see demand from students attending the DIT campus at Grangegorman.
Owing to the close proximity of the Luas, students attending Trinity College may also be interested in securing accommodation there.
The sites in question include the former Michael H textile plant acquired from Small Firms Association chairman AJ Noonan and two former Arnotts car park sites controlled by developer Noel Smyth.
Subject to planning, Ziggurat expects to have the proposed 800 Dublin student rooms ready for occupation in 2019.
The company has also acquired a site on Cork's Western Road close to UCC for a 200-bed facility and intends to build up to 1,000 student rooms in both Cork and Galway over the next three years.
Referring to the opportunities presented by the Irish market, McAdden said: "We're enthused by it. Dublin is very exciting, but so is Cork.
"There are 25,000 students at UCC and it's an internationally-recognised university and NUIG (Galway) has 18,000 to 20,000 students and is also internationally-recognised."
He added: "The real economy in Ireland is very, very strong. People continue to have the confidence to rent properties to go to university."