THE relative strength of smaller shopping centres in the Covid-19 crisis is reflected in one of the investments currently on the market.
Sales agent TWM is quoting €7.1m for the Maple Centre on the Navan Road, Dublin 7, where three units were open on Tuesday this week.
The three account for 50pc of the centre's €550,023 annual rent. They are Maple Pharmacy, Iceland food store and EuroGiant. It also has an ATM.
Other tenants, McDonald's fast food operator, O'Brien's off-licence and Millennium Takeaway, a Chinese food business, have shuttered.
The seventh unit, which is vacant, extends to 2,017 sq ft and has the advantage of planning permission for change of use from retail to restaurant, serving hot and cold food for consumption on and off the premises.
Even before the current crisis, the vendor offered to underwrite the rent for this unit for a full year at €50,000.
Patricia Ward, of TWM, says the rent equates to a strong net initial yield of 7pc and the centre also has future development potential.
An opportunity to increase the value of the investment is possible through an adjoining 0.2 acre development site zoned Z4 - District Centre.
Permissible uses under this zoning include residential, hostel and hotel. Given the site is approximately 1km from the new Grangegorman Campus of Technological University Dublin, it may be of interest for student accommodation or housing development. A planning report carried out by John Spain Associates suggests it has potential for heights of between five and seven storeys.
The entire floor area of the centre's seven units extends to 2,544 sq ft.
It also comes with more than 75 surface car-parking spaces which appeal to people wishing to keep social distancing guidelines. The average time to lease expiry (WAULT) is 7.87 years and 6.9 years to break options.
Surrounding properties include a library and a Tesco.