Business Irish

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Marlet 'forward funding' plan to see up to 1,800 Dublin apartments offered to global investors

Pat Crean
Pat Crean

Paul McNeive

The planned development of up to 1,800 Dublin apartments is to be sold off the plans to global investors in blocks in the first deal of its kind done here.

While the so-called forward-funding of apartments is already common in mature rental markets such as Germany, the move by developer Pat Crean's Marlet Property Group represents a new departure for the Irish market. The Irish Independent understands Crean has instructed Savills to offer up to 1,800 apartments on up to six prime Dublin sites to global investors in a campaign which is due to be launched later this month.

The sites in question are understood to form part of a portfolio largely assembled by Crean and Greg Kavanagh during their time together at the helm of New Generation Homes. While the two developers went their separate ways last October, Crean's Marlet Property Group retained control of a significant number of New Generation's assets and the financial backing of the company's funders, the international asset managers, M&G Investments.

Depending on the final decision on how many apartments to offer, the deal is likely to have a value in excess of €500m.

The offer is evidence of the new institutional market here for long-term residential investment. While it means the homes won't be available for owner occupiers, it may yet be welcomed by the Government, which is desperate to see the large scale construction of units for the rental market. While forward funding of commercial schemes is long established, this will be the first time that large residential developments have been similarly offered. In mature rental markets such as Germany, forward funding of apartments is common.

While Savills declined to comment, it is understood two of the sites involved are the Marlet Property Group's Mount Argus property and its St Clare's scheme, both of which are in Harold's Cross, Dublin 6. Construction has already started on one block of apartments at Mount Argus, and that block will be included in the offer. Marlet will finalise shortly how many blocks will be built and offered in the deal. Up to four other sites could be included, all in prime locations inside the M50. The total number of units offered for pre-sale will be between 1,200 and 1,800, to be completed between 2018 and 2020.

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