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Overseas developers set to pump €1.5bn into apartment construction


A rendering of the huge town centre style development Hines is planning for Cherrywood in south Dublin

A rendering of the huge town centre style development Hines is planning for Cherrywood in south Dublin

A rendering of the huge town centre style development Hines is planning for Cherrywood in south Dublin

A handful of international companies are in line to invest more than €1.5 billion which will generate more than 7,000 houses, apartments and student accommodation in Dublin in the next few years.

According to research by Construction Information Services (CIS) one of the most active developers is US firm Kennedy Wilson, while Oaktree, Dev Secs and M&G are among those to have teamed up with Irish firms to undertake new developments.

In addition it is understood that a number of others are providing financial support to a number of Irish developers.

Kennedy Wilson (KW) is currently engaged in three residential projects involving a combined construction cost of about €160m. and which will deliver 536 apartments and houses.

These projects include a development of 166 houses and apartments currently underway at Clancy Quay, Islandbridge, involving a development cost of about €50 million. More than 40 of these units will be accommodated within refurbished former military buildings. Main contractor Glenbeigh Construction is expected to complete the units within two years.

Also underway is KW's 166 apartments at the Vantage site in Central Park, Leopardstown Road, Dublin 18 in a nine storey building which will include ground floor retail. It will cost about €50m to develop and is expected to be completed by June of next year. The apartments will comprise 50 one beds, 111 two beds.

KW has also submitted a planning application for 204 apartments as part of its €110m Capital Dock mixed use development at the Britain Quay end of Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2. On the basis of an average per unit development cost of €300,000, the residential element would require a build investment of more than €60 million.

Capital Dock will also include 35,690 sq m of offices as well as retail, cultural, crèche and restaurant space.

Oaktree is another active investor developer involved in delivery of about 660 units in the Greater Dublin Area. It is involved in four residential projects with Targeted Investment Opportunities plc (TIO) where its partners include Bennett Construction.

In recent days TIO submitted a planning application for 46 flats at the upmarket Birches enclave in Foxrock, Dublin 18. In 2012 this property, known as Rockall, changed hands for €1.4m., a substantial drop on its 2010 asking price of €2.25m. With two bed apartments in the nearby Hollybrook complex asking €695,000, the new Rockall project could be worth €30m. when built.

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TIO is also investing in the commuter belt and plans a €13.7m residential development in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare, where it will develop 113 dwellings at the unfinished Brocan Wood housing estate. The project includes 33 detached houses, 56 semis and 24 terraced homes.

TIO also plans a €19m student project at Dorset Street Upper and 65-70 Wellington Street, Dublin 1. Last month Dublin City Council granted planning permission for its 108 flats with a total of 463 bed spaces.

Oaktree's first project is the €40m Knightsbridge Student Housing Ltd (KSHL) development at the Digital Hub off Thomas St, Dublin 8, which will include a 10 storey block to house up to 500 students.

NAMA is one of TIO's partners at 5 Hanover Quay, south docklands, where and construction work is expected to commence in the last quarter of this year on 100 flats as part of a mixed development. At an average construction cost of €300,000 per residential unit, this would require an investment of €30m.

US firm Hines is to undertake the largest single residential project with 3,800 homes planned which could account for more than €1 billion of the €2.5 billion it could spend developing the new Cherrywood town in south Dublin.

Hines is currently awaiting the green light from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Co. Council for the infrastructure and parks which it intends to build prior to constructing the centre of the project which will account for about 1,000 flats as well as a shopping mall.

M&G Investments, the UK investment arm of Prudential, is reported to be investing €300 million with New Generation, the developer headed up by Greg Kavanagh and Pat Crean. A spokesman said they have "several thousand" units planned or underway but did not give details. A search of the CIS website shows one of the largest of these is a €47m mixed use project at Carnlough Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, which will include 387 apartments. The team is also awaiting a Bord Pleanála decision on a 209 unit project at the former St Clare's Convent in Harold's Cross, Dublin 8.

Last Spring they also sought permission for a €27m Development of 175 three and four bedroom houses at Hollywoodrath, Hollystown, Dublin 15.

Development Securities (DevSec), is involved in three Dublin residential projects and one of these, at Percy Place, near Baggot St Bridge is due to launch in the coming weeks. One of the first new city centre apartments developments to get underway since the crash, it includes 12 apartments as well as some commercial space.

Dev Sec also has a 9-acre site in Robswall, Malahide, that it bought from Gerry Gannon 13 months ago. It has planning consent for 154 residential units, suggesting a development cost of about €46m.

The firm also plans 140 residential units on a 1.8 acre property at Sandyford, Dublin 18 which it bought for about €6m. last month. However this seems unlikely to be developed in the near future as a commercial building on the site is let to Avid Technology until April 2017.

Last month Bord Pleanala gave the green light to UK student accommodation provider, Mortar Developments Properties for a €7m project at Church Street, Dublin 7, near the Four Courts Luas stop. While the number of units appears small at 35 units each will accommodate between five and eight beds amounting to 232 bedrooms.

Mortar has built about 17 large-scale student accommodation facilities in the UK in London and Nottingham.

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