Saturday 24 February 2018

McKillen secures prime Dublin housing site after highest bidder pulls out

Property investor Paddy McKillen is extending his reach to the delivery of housing
Property investor Paddy McKillen is extending his reach to the delivery of housing
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Belfast-born property investor Paddy McKillen was very nearly beaten to the punch in his recent acquisition of a prime 10-acre development site in Blackrock in south county Dublin.

The Irish Independent has learned that McKillen's winning bid of €30m for the Temple Road site, formerly owned by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, was outstripped by an offer of over €1m more from a rival bidder, who was subsequently unable to complete.

Having entered the process for the lands which were offered for sale by religious lands specialists, WK Nowlan Real Estate Advisors, the party in question is said to have been surprised to have their offer of over €31m emerge as the highest bid. The lands, which have the potential for more than 231,500 sq m of development consisting of 252 residential units and a childcare facility according to a feasibility study prepared by O'Mahoney Pike architects, had been put on the market for a guide price of €25m.

Asked why the original bidder had not followed through on their bid to acquire the Blackrock lands, a source familiar with the matter said:

"The party in question is involved in a number of different businesses and have their capital deployed already. They aren't property developers and wouldn't be known as such. They entered the process and were a little taken aback to win out, so to speak, with their bid of €31m."

Having indicated that they would not be proceeding with the deal, the bidder stepped aside, leaving the way clear for McKillen to acquire the site, which includes a Victorian residence now known as St Teresa's House. The residence was once the home of Lady Arnott, the wife of John Arnott who owned the department store bearing the Arnott name. The property also comprises a gate lodge and a number of vacant buildings.

It fronts on to Temple Road in Blackrock and is located around 350m south east of Blackrock village.

McKillen, who is best known for his longstanding involvement in the world-famous Claridge's, Berkeley and Connaught hotels in London, and his development and ownership of the Jervis Shopping Centre in Dublin, is hoping to develop up to 300 luxury homes on the Blackrock lands.

With no appreciable increase in the supply of housing likely to emerge in the short term, the demand for residential development land continues to grow in Dublin, the surrounding commuter counties of Wicklow, Kildare and Meath, and in the major cities of Cork, Galway and Limerick.

In Cork, agents Lisney and McCarthy McGrath are guiding a price of €4m for a site of 7.11 acres for a residential development site immediately east of Killumney village, 5km south of Ballincollig and 15km west of Cork city.

The land is laid out in one main division and has full planning permission granted in June of 2017 for 70 two-storey dwellings comprising of 12 detached, 52 semi-detached and six townhouses.

The site is adjacent to the established residential development of Grange Manor and within walking distance of Killumney Village, and in close proximity to major employers including Dell EMC, and VM Ware.

In Bray, Co Wicklow meanwhile, agent Knight Frank is guiding a price of €1m for a 5.6 acre site zoned for residential purposes.

The subject lands are located on the Upper Dargle Road, approximately 1.5km to the south-west of Bray Town Centre, and 20km south of Dublin city centre.

Planning Permission was previously granted for a development of 120 residential units on the northern element of the lands, however, this permission has since lapsed.

Furthermore, the southern element of the lands were recently cleared as part of works carried out by Wicklow County Council under the County Brook Flood Alleviation Scheme.

Knight Frank says: "The lands represent an attractive residentially-zoned lot size with spectacular coastal and mountain views and are situated in a popular commuter town within 20km of Dublin City Centre."

According to the agent: "The area is highly accessible given its rail, bus and motorway links and we would anticipate that the lands will appeal to a wide range of residential operators given the location and competitive guide price".

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