Tuesday 24 September 2019

Prime lands in exclusive Dublin suburb of Mount Merrion hit the market for €32m

Residential site assembled by McKillen Jr's Oakmount has scope for 193 apartments

Prime location: An aerial view of the Mount Merrion site. Occupied by the former Flanagan Kerins furniture store and the Union Cafe, the land already has planning permission for 98 apartments
Prime location: An aerial view of the Mount Merrion site. Occupied by the former Flanagan Kerins furniture store and the Union Cafe, the land already has planning permission for 98 apartments
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

A major residential site assembled by developer Paddy McKillen Jr and Matt Ryan's Oakmount in the exclusive south Dublin suburb of Mount Merrion has been brought to the market by Finin O'Driscoll of Knight Frank for a guide price of €32m.

Extending across an area of 0.76 hectares (1.88 acres), the subject site is occupied currently by the popular Union Café (operated by McKillen and Ryan's Press Up Entertainment group) on its eastern end and the former Flanagan Kerins furniture store on its western side.

The site's potential for residential development has already been evidenced by Dun Laoghaire's decision to grant planning permission for apartment schemes on both the western and eastern portions of the lands, which Oakmount acquired in two individual transactions.

Those existing permissions allow for the construction of 48 apartments and 282 sq m (3,035 sq ft) of offices on the western element of the site, and a further 50 apartments and a 1,164 sq m (12,529 sq ft) pub and restaurant on its eastern end.

Oakmount's sale of the Mount Merrion lands comes just over five months after the company completed its acquisition of the former Flanagan Kerins store site for a figure understood to be in the region of €7m. Agent Lisney had been guiding a figure of €7.5 for the property when they offered it for sale in November 2017 on behalf of its previous owners, Chris and Niall Power Smith.

While Oakmount indicated in a statement last June that it intended to develop out the Flanagan's site in line with its existing permission, the company also noted that the increased size of its Mount Merrion holding made it "eligible to apply for a new planning permission for the entire site for approximately 150 units under the new Strategic Housing and Development Act".

Given the resulting increase in the site's value, potential and attractiveness to the market, McKillen Jr and Ryan's decision to sell it, rather than develop it themselves however, isn't entirely surprising.

Finin O'Driscoll of selling agent Knight Frank says the prospective purchaser will have an opportunity to devise an overall masterplan in line with current planning policy changes promoting better land use and higher-density development with a focus on high-quality design and architecture.

In preparation for the sale, architects O'Mahony Pike have undertaken a feasibility study for the entire site to provide 193, generously-sized, build-to-sell apartments offering stunning city and sea views.

The study also incorporates 468 sq m (5,037 sq ft) of commercial space fronting onto North Avenue.

Furthermore, the site topography allows for a lower-cost car-parking solution with part-podium/part-basement car parking.

The proposed building height is generally four-storeys with north/south linear blocks at five storeys and a gateway building marking the intersection of North Avenue and Deerpark Road.

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