Saturday 17 August 2019

Cork’s on the shopping list for international retailers

REJUVENATION: Cork city centre is attracting the attention of ‘high order’ companies as trading conditions improve
REJUVENATION: Cork city centre is attracting the attention of ‘high order’ companies as trading conditions improve

Peter Flanagan

INTERNATIONAL retailers are beginning to focus on Cork once again, as money begins to move outside of Dublin and into the rest of the country.

According to Savills property consultants, who have been appointed to handle the sale and letting of a number of units on Patrick Street, a number of "high order" retailers are expected to rejuvenate the street this year.

Savills Cork director Peter O'Meara recently commented: "Stabilisation has returned to the retail sector in Ireland and there is now a slow but steady improvement in trading conditions.

"This has not gone unnoticed. A number of international retailers have expressed an interest in several high-end retail units in the city centre and we expect to see a commitment from a number of them in the coming months."

With a number of vacant properties on Patrick Street, Mr O'Meara said the majority of those were due to leases expiring, and he asserted there is now the "opportunity for retailers to take advantage of more attractive lease terms".

"The current rate of vacancies would be a concern if there was nobody interested in taking the space," he said.

"But with flexible leases now on offer, we are seeing top international brands showing a strong interest in what Cork has to offer, which is a huge opportunity to attract new, high-level brands to the city."

Among the properties vacant at the moment are numbers 37, 43/44, 74/75, 89/90 and 124.

The unit at 37 Patrick Street, formerly occupied by Swamp ladies fashions, is available to let at a guiding rent of €100,000 for 600 sq ft of ground floor retail space and upstairs storage. It is available for immediate occupation. At 43/44 Patrick Street, the property is to let by Leigh Hegarty of Savills and joint agents JLL.

The entire building is expected to attract a rent of around €300,000 per annum, and it has a ground floor area in excess of 3,100 sq ft.

It was occupied by Wallis until March this year when their lease expired. The first floor had been occupied by China Gold.

Mothercare formerly occupied 74/75 Patrick Street – a large flagship building on the street which is currently under offer. The property comprises a retail premises, with three floors of retail space on the ground, first and mezzanine levels, with offices and storage space overhead.

About 15,000 sq ft is available at 89/90 Patrick Street. The landmark building has a retail area over the first two floors of approximately 9,000 sq ft and is expected to command a rent of between €400,000 and €450,000 per annum for the entire building.

Finally, 124 Patrick Street, a high-profile, four-storey premises with retail use on the ground floor, is currently sale agreed in excess of €515,000. Siobhan Young of Savills expects it to be let in the region of €40,000 to €45,000 per annum.

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