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Arnotts in €115m store deal

A €115m investment deal has been agreed on Dublin's Grafton Street in one of the biggest retail transactions this year.

Leading developer, David Daly, is acquiring numbers 102/103/104 Grafton Street in an off-market transaction from vendor Arnotts.

River Island trades from numbers 102/103 Grafton Street and the upper floors of No 104, with the Wallace ladies fashion store occupying the ground floor. The buildings encompass around 22,000sqm over five storeys in total and are being sold on behalf of Arnotts Ltd/Arnotts Pension Fund respectively.

Arnotts is currently planning a massive redevelopment on its northside city centre site, and the funds from this deal will presumably help finance this project. Fergus O'Farrell of Hamilton Osborne King acted on behalf of the purchaser of the Grafton St properties. The yield is equivalent to around 2.4pc.

"This is one of the prime buildings on Grafton St and we are delighted to have negotiated the transaction," agent Mr O'Farrell commented.

The wew owner, Mr Daly, is one of our most astute property developers. A former managing director of Manor Park Homes, David Daly subsequently established the fast-growing Albany Homes and later showed his considerable prowess on the commercial scene by launching Airside in Swords.

n THREE more retail investments -- expected to raise over €10million -- have been put up for sale at The Square shopping centre in Tallaght on the outskirts of Dublin.

The units for sale -- units 120, 225 and 310 -- are believed to be owned by Hibernian Group. They are prominently located within the thriving centre and divided between the three levels there. Two of the units are leased to Health Express and The Camera Centre, while unit 310 is available to let, thus providing an opportunity to tap into strong demand from retailers for representation in The Square. Total immediate potential rental income is €367,000 pa. Selling agent is CB Richard Ellis.

n The recent €320million acquisition by Noel Smyth of the former Quinlan units in the Square has brought about a streamlining of the overall Square ownership. It will likewise facilitate the Phase 3 extension and improvement of the centre.

Planning Permission was granted last February for a 75,000sqm extension comprising 373 apartments, 23,232sqm retail, 4,108sqm office,3,690sqm leisure, a 1,617 space multi-storey car park and 15,755sqm ancillary accommodation.

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In addition, it is estimated that the overall site could accommodate a further 99,000sqm of accommodation in a Phase 4 extension.

"This latest investment opportunity at The Square should prove of interest to investors looking for exposure to the thriving retail market in an established Dublin shopping centre which is set to see significant extensions," said CBRE investment expert Colm Luddy.

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