Debenhams’ two former flagship stores on Henry Street, Dublin and St Patrick’s Street, Cork have been launched for sale with guide prices of €55m and €20m respectively.
They are being sold by Nicholas O’Dwyer of Grant Thornton who Bank of Ireland appointed as receivers over the properties earlier this year. The properties were owned by companies which had been controlled by members of the Roche family who had owned the Roches Stores department store chain. They sold the chain of nine stores to the fashion chain Debenhams in 2006, in a deal worth €29m, but Roches retained ownership of properties in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Tralee, Galway and Waterford, leasing them to Debenhams.
Debenhams closed its Irish retail operation in March 2020 and, except for these two, all of the stores have either been sold or let to other occupiers.
The Dublin store at 54-62 Henry Street comprises a four-storey over basement premises extending to 210,000 sqft, with 200 feet of street frontage opposite Arnott’s department store. It also has access into the Ilac Centre.
Zara fashion chain occupies about 20,000 sqft of the Henry Street store over three floors and pays a turnover-based fee under a licence with the landlord.
Karl Stewart of Cushman & Wakefield, who is handling the sale, says the Henry Street building offers “considerable opportunities for leasing or indeed reconfiguration/redevelopment”.
To attract developers, HKR Architects have designed two alternative mixed-use nine-storey schemes for that property. One of these, a refurbishment option, envisages 185,000 sqft of retail over four floors and basement with 98 apartments above. Alternatively HKR’s redevelopment option suggests 152,000 sqft of retail over three levels plus basement and 116 apartments above.
The Cork property, 12-17 St Patrick’s Street, has a 150-foot façade on the city’s main shopping street and extends to almost 153,000 sqft on a site extending to 1.32 acres. It also has frontage to Maylor Street.
Peter O’Flynn of Cushman & Wakefield in Cork said the site would suit redevelopment. HKR Architects have designed a mixed-use scheme with 54,000 sqft of retail and a rear section with 47 apartments and a 220-bedroom hotel.