Almost half of apartments at Kennedy Wilson's 22-storey Capital Dock scheme are vacant
US property giant Kennedy Wilson is continuing to reap massive rents for its 2,000 apartments in Dublin, with the units still commanding average monthly prices of $2,599 (€2,126) despite the impact of the pandemic.
The company, which also owns the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, generates significantly more rent on average from its residential properties here than it does in US locations such as Los Angeles.
Ireland is the only country outside the United States where the company owns residential properties.
The company said its properties in northern California were commanding average monthly rents of $1,972 (€1,613) as of the end of December. Its properties in southern California were generating $1,962 a month on average.
Beverly Hills-headquartered Kennedy Wilson owns a total of 2,080 apartments in Ireland, the vast majority of them in Dublin.
Companies such as Kennedy Wilson have been nicknamed ‘Cuckoo Funds’, for sometimes buying entire apartment schemes meaning individuals can’t buy units.
In Dublin, Kennedy Wilson co-owns the 22-storey Capital Dock scheme, which opened in 2018.
But the company confirmed in its fourth-quarter and full-year results this week, that just 54pc of the 190 apartments at the development are currently rented out. The remainder are vacant.
At another Kennedy Wilson development in the capital, Clancy Quay, 62pc of the of the 266 apartments at the third phase of the scheme were vacant as of the end of December, the results note.
However, it was reported this month that occupancy levels at the third phase of Clancy Quay were by then close to 50pc. The scheme was launched during the Covid crisis. The overall Clancy Quay project is the largest private rental development in the country. It has almost 900 units.
Kennedy Wilson owns half the development, with Axa Investment Managers owning the remainder.
The pair also co-own the Capital Dock scheme, with the State’s bad bank, Nama, having sold its share of the development in 2019.
Kennedy Wilson said in its results this week that as of the end of December, its apartments in Ireland had an overall occupancy rate of 91.3pc.
It has hundreds more apartments in the pipeline at construction projects in Dublin.
It’s building the massive Coopers Cross scheme in the capital. The project, extending over 5.9 acres, is on one of the largest undeveloped sites in Dublin’s central business district. It takes up an entire block beside the IFSC.
Axa Investment Managers is its partner on the scheme, which will include 472 apartments and 394,000 sq ft of office space.
Kennedy Wilson and Axa are also building 287 apartments at the Grange complex in south Dublin, where they teamed up in 2018 to buy an existing 274 apartments and a four-acre development site for €161m. The assets were sold by a receiver on behalf of Nama.
During 2020, Kennedy Wilson sold its wholly-owned office development called Baggot Plaza in Dublin for $165m (€135m) for a gain of $85m. It was bought by the specialist real estate investments arm of the Deka Group.