Sunday 19 May 2019

Kennedy Wilson seals Capital Dock retail deals

High hopes: Mary Ricks and Bill McMorrow with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe at Capital Dock
High hopes: Mary Ricks and Bill McMorrow with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe at Capital Dock
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

US Property group Kennedy Wilson has managed to extract all of its equity from the Capital Dock scheme in Dublin's docklands, and is finalising all the retail leases at the landmark scheme.

Capital Dock - which features about 200 apartments renting for €3,300 a month each - was built at a cost of about $400m (€358m). Built in conjunction with Nama, it was completed last November and extends over 4.8 acres. It also includes office space.

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JP Morgan and recruitment firm Indeed have agreed to occupy all the office space.

Kennedy Wilson chairman and CEO Bill McMorrow confirmed that the group and its partners undertook a refinancing of the scheme at the end of 2018.

"We've been able to take out all of our equity out of the Capital Dock project," he said. "And so now we've got an income stream that is going to go on for a long time."

He said that the €261m refinancing of Capital Dock achieved an effective interest rate of just 1.56pc: "the lowest rate of finance that we've completed in our history".

"That's part of the rationale for what we're doing construction-wise in Ireland," said Mr Morrow. "There's a very big debt financing advantage there, but the debt financing alone doesn't really drive our thinking in terms of what we do from an acquisition standpoint."

Kennedy Wilson, which owns other assets in Ireland including the Shelbourne Hotel and the Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links, as well as Stillorgan Shopping Centre, has lured a number of high-end retailers to Capital Dock, according to president Mary Ricks.

"We're making excellent progress on the 26,000 square feet retail component where we have leased or are in lease negotiations on almost all the space, bringing top artisanal food and beverage occupiers to this dynamic urban campus," she said.

Ms Ricks added that the all the retail space at the scheme will be let by the end of the year or very early in 2020.

Mr McMorrow said the group has no intention of selling Capital Dock. "That's an asset that I would say generally speaking is not one that we would ever sell," he told analysts.

Ms Ricks said there have been a lot of international entrants to the commercial and residential sector here, from countries including South Korea, Germany and Italy.

Irish Independent

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