Friday 19 January 2018

Baggot Street Georgians sold to Alway for €4.5m

Alway Consulting is buying the properties on behalf of Ballybunion Capital.
Alway Consulting is buying the properties on behalf of Ballybunion Capital.

Donal Buckley

The Baggot Buildings at 19-22 Lower Baggot Street have been acquired by the Irish investment advisory firm Alway Consulting Ltd on behalf of Ballybunion Capital for €4.5m.

Alan Conway of Alway Consulting said the firm is delighted to add this block of four well-located Georgian office properties to their expanding portfolio, which includes a range of investment assets located primarily in Dublin South City Centre.

The four storey over basement Georgian buildings, which are currently vacant, extend to 1,362 sq m and, according to the sales agents Savills, would suit a variety of uses subject to planning permission.

Alan Conway said that initially the plan is to retain the buildings in office use and refurbish them to their former glory. "However we have been approached by a number of alternative businesses and operators to convert back into serviced offices, reinstate as a hotel or student accommodation."

"We are also considering conversion back into a residential scheme and are presently examining the feasibility of each opportunity and the investors will make their final decision in the coming months."

Ballybunion Capital Ltd is a Qualifying Investor Alternative Investment Fund (QIAIF) which is a tax efficient means for a group of investors to invest as tax is deferred for a period of up to eight years or on exit, whichever is earlier.

This allows cash to build up on a gross basis and this in turn can be used to acquire more assets or to fund debt over a shorter term. They are expensive to set up and manage and minimum investment volumes are required to make them practical.

Over the past number of years Alway Consulting Ltd has acquired and manages a number of significant mixed use assets on behalf of their clients. All are situated in Dublin South City including prime locations such as South Anne St, Percy Place, Camden St and Upper Baggot St. About 60pc of its properties are Dublin offices.

Explaining the attractions of Georgian offices Mr Conway pointed out that over the past three years Georgian rents have doubled from €15 per sq ft to more than €30 per sq ft while management costs have remained fairly stable.

"This is primarily due to the shortage of suitable office space within the city centre. Having a 'front door' remains appealing to small office users and many cannot afford the rents being charged in the newer buildings."

Kevin O'Reilly of Savills Offices Division, said the buildings were most recently used as serviced offices.

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