Saturday 22 September 2018

Hickeys Parkgate St site in €20m 'off market' sale

An aerial view of the landmark Hickeys site on Parkgate Street in Dublin 8, close to Heuston Station
An aerial view of the landmark Hickeys site on Parkgate Street in Dublin 8, close to Heuston Station
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

The landmark Hickeys site at Parkgate Street in Dublin 8 is being offered for sale in an 'off market' placing, the Irish Independent has learned.

Agent Finnegan Menton is understood to have invited offers in excess of €20m for the property, which enjoys a pivotal location immediately adjacent to Heuston Station and at the western approach to the Dublin city quays.

Extending to 1.65 acres (0.67 hectares), the property has 96 metres of frontage to the River Liffey, 90 metres of frontage to Parkgate Street, and represents an opportunity to deliver a high-profile development (subject to planning permission) at the gateway to Dublin city centre.

The site has been in use by Hickeys as a Wholesale Warehouse for over 40 years and prior to that was Cahill Printers. The existing buildings total 4,500 sq m of single-storey warehouse/wholesale buildings, stores and a two-storey former house/office building.

The main warehouse building is let on a short-term letting to Hickey & Company Ltd for one year, 11 months and 26 days from January 6, 2018 (expiring December 31, 2019) at a rent of €100,000 per annum. The tenant has a rolling break option from January 1, 2019 on giving three months' notice.

The location, profile and accessibility of the Hickeys site makes it an ideal location for a number of high value alternative uses including residential, hotel or apart-hotel, a landmark office development or a mix of these uses with the potential to incorporate retail, café and restaurant uses at ground floor level. All of these uses are consistent with the site's Objective Z5 zoning under the current Dublin City Development Plan. The stated primary purpose of this zoning is "to sustain life within the centre of the city through intensive mixed-use development".

The development plan also identifies Heuston Station and its environs as a Strategic Development Regeneration Area (SDRA). As part of this, the area known as the 'Heuston Gateway' is identified as a western counterpoint to the Docklands, offering the potential for buildings of over 50 metres (16 storeys) in height.

While Dublin City Council granted planning permission in 2007 for a mixed-use scheme incorporating 139 apartments on the Hickeys site, this was later overturned by An Bord Pleanala. The context in which this development would have taken place has since changed however, following the construction of the new Criminal Courts of Justice complex almost immediately opposite the Hickeys site, and the changes in both the 2016-2022 Dublin City Development Plan and in national guidelines towards density and height.

The area surrounding the Hickeys site has seen a number of major developments in recent years including Heuston South Quarter (Eir Headquarters), the new Criminal Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street and Kennedy Wilson's Clancy Quay Private Rented Sector (PRS) residential offering at Islandbridge.

Only recently, Diageo (Guinness) confirmed its plans to develop a major mixed-use scheme known as St James's Quarter on a 12.6 acre portion of its St James's Gate premises.

The Hickeys site is readily accessible from within Dublin and beyond thanks to its location next to Heuston Station, the Luas Red line, and the national road and motorway network.

In terms of amenities, the subject property is located within a short distance of the Phoenix Park, the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the National Museum of Ireland (Collins Barracks), Guinness and Guinness Hop Store, and Dublin Zoo.

Other local amenities include shops, restaurants and the well-known public houses, Nancy Hands and FXB Ryans on Parkgate Street.

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