Tuesday 14 August 2018

Ardstone in line to buy prime Liam Cosgrave lands for €32m

Cosgrave, a “barrister and public representative”, left an estate valued at €33,713,657. Photo: Tom Burke
Cosgrave, a “barrister and public representative”, left an estate valued at €33,713,657. Photo: Tom Burke
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ardstone Capital is understood to have entered into exclusive talks with property agents JLL with a view to acquiring the Dublin home of former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave for around €32m, the Irish Independent can reveal.

While the house, known as Beechpark, is a modest bungalow, it sits on 16 acres of zoned residential and serviced land on the Scholarstown Road in Templeogue.

Property industry sources estimate the grounds of Mr Cosgrave's former home could accommodate about 200 houses.

The sale of Beechpark was exclusively revealed by this newspaper last February.

The sale is believed to have attracted interest from a number of the country's other leading home builders including Cairn Homes, Michael O'Flynn's O'Flynn Group and Paddy McKillen Jr's Oakmount.

The most recent residential development in the neighbourhood saw Regency Homes deliver the latest tranche of housing at its Scholarstown Wood scheme.

That estate, which will consist of 244 houses and 70 apartments, is set across a 24-acre plot that once belonged to the singer Dickie Rock.

News of the potential sale of Liam Cosgrave's home and its surrounding lands to Ardstone Capital comes just weeks after the publication of his will.

According to documents lodged in the Probate Office, Liam Cosgrave, a "barrister and public representative", of Beech Park, Scholarstown Road, Templeogue, Dublin, left an estate valued at €33,713,657.

The sole executrix of his will was his daughter Mary, a former executive with Bord Fáilte.

Mr Cosgrave, a former leader of Fine Gael, died on October 4 last in Tallaght Hospital following an illness.

He led a Fine Gael-Labour coalition between 1973 and 1977, and stepped down following Fianna Fáil's landslide victory in 1977.

In other property-related news, Green Reit said yesterday that it has exchanged contracts for the sale of Westend Retail Park in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, to a real estate fund managed by DWS for €147.7m.

The company said the price agreed with Deutsche Asset Management's new global brand is broadly in line with the most recent valuation of the property of €147.1m at December 31, 2017. The sale is expected to complete by the end of June.

Westend Retail Park comprises 21,437 sq m (230,742 sq ft) of retail space and 6,619 sq m (71,249 sq ft) of office space.

Green Reit acquired the property in October 2014 as part of the Sapphire Portfolio for €375m.

The portfolio comprised office buildings at Georges Quay and George's Court, Dublin 2, and retail and other commercial space in Westend Retail Park.

The net proceeds from Westend Retail Park's sale will be used to reduce Green Reit's revolving credit facility, providing it with access to debt capital for investment in development at Central Park office park in South Dublin and at Horizon Logistics Park near Dublin Airport.

Green Reit CEO Pat Gunne said: "The disposal of Westend Retail Park, representing a 55pc profit on cost, is in line with our stated strategy of recycling a portion of our capital to invest in higher return development projects in Horizon Logistics Park and Central Park, while maintaining balance sheet discipline below our self-imposed 25pc gearing level."

Irish Independent

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