A 6.75-acre site with capacity for 358 apartments on the Swords Road in Drumcondra, Dublin 9, is expected to see intense interest among developers and investors when it is offered to the market in the coming weeks.
The Sunday Independent understands that agent Savills will be guiding a price in the region of €20m for the lands, which enjoy the benefit of a pivotal location just 700 metres from Dublin City University (DCU), and within a short commute of both Dublin city centre and Dublin Airport.
News of the Drumcondra site’s disposal on behalf of Nama follows the commencement last Wednesday of the sales campaign for the sale of the Grange portfolio in Stillorgan in south county Dublin.
Joint agents Knight Frank and Cushman & Wakefield are guiding €135m for 274 of the 507 completed apartments at the development along with a four-acre site with the capacity to accommodate 263 additional apartments.
While the sale of the Grange portfolio on behalf of Nama has been billed as the largest single residential investment and development deal the capital has seen in recent years, the move by the State’s so-called ‘bad bank’ to sell the Swords Road site is significant for a number of reasons.
The lands had previously accounted for the most valuable part of the €35.5m Duke Portfolio which Nama had attempted to sell in 2016.
Apart from the Swords Road site, the portfolio had included another 53 acres of development land distributed across nine other sites in North Dublin and Kildare, as well as residential investment properties and industrial units.
Nama pulled the sale of the Duke Portfolio last year, some six months after bringing it to the market, and appointed RSM as receivers to several of the properties, including the Portmarnock Raceway.
One consequence of the agency’s decision is that it is now in line to secure a higher price for the Swords Road site.
As part of the Duke Portfolio sale process, the lands had been valued in the region of €13m – or €7m less than the €20m Savills will guide when it brings the site to the market shortly.
But while the Drumcondra site provides the potential purchaser with an excellent opportunity to capitalise on the demand for housing in the capital from both the traditional owner-occupier market and the fast-growing Build-to-Rent sector, the buyer will, unfortunately, need to submit a new planning application before commencing construction, as the existing permission for 358 apartments has expired. The site’s positive planning history should, however, weigh very much in the new owner’s favour.
Nama’s decision to sell the sites at Swords Road and the Grange in Stillorgan will be welcomed by developers, given the shortage of development land in the capital that is serviced, ready-to-go, and on the market.
The Sunday Independent understands the State agency is preparing to bring a number of other residential development sites to the market, and that its preferred method for delivery of housing on these lands would see it enter into licence agreements with the purchasers. In Dublin, Nama is understood to still have control of prime residential sites in Baldoyle, Clongriffin, Kinsealy, Tyrellstown, Pelletstown, Brennanstown Road and Blessington Road.
REF: Sunday Independent