Avestus to launch Richmond Homes brand with 25 houses in D7

Irish Times
June 14, 2017

Real estate investment manager Avestus Capital Partners is to deliver new homes across the greater Dublin area after acquiring a number of well-located sites.

The company has joined forces with Magnetar Capital, a large US alternative investment manager, to acquire sites, which will be developed by a growing in-house team headed by Avestus director Mark O’Donnell.

The first development under the Richmond Homes brand will be Dawson Place at Arbour Hill, Dublin 7. The city scheme, built on a site that cost a reported €2.7 million, will comprise 25 two- and three-bedroom houses within close proximity of the Museum Luas station and Heuston station.

Last year a newly built apartment scheme at nearby Smithfield sold out at its launch weekend with prices of up to €425,000 for three-bedroom units. The planned launch at Dawson Place later this year is expected to enjoy similar success given the dearth of new homes on offer in the city and pent-up demand from would-be buyers, particularly first-time buyers hoping to avail of the Help to Buy scheme.

Ashfield College site

Elsewhere, in Templeogue village Avestus has acquired the 1.13-acre former Ashfield College site with full planning permission for 16 family homes. The site was guiding €3.7 million when it hit the market earlier this year.

In Stillorgan, the company has acquired the 1.5-acre Kilmacud House site, formerly owned by a religious order, which has planning permission for an apartment scheme. Its location, a short walk from both the Stillorgan Luas station and village centre, is expected to appeal to a wide range of buyers.

On Dublin’s northside, Avestus has bought a two-acre infill site on Clontarf’s upmarket Dollymount Avenue, where it has already commenced the development of 25 large family homes. When completed, they are expected to attract expat executives and local buyers trading up – much the same response as the recently launched new homes scheme in Raheny which were priced at €900,000 each and sold out within three hours.

New homes developments

While its acquisitions in Dublin to date have been large infill sites in mature locations, it appears that Avestus will continue to seek opportunities to develop large-scale new homes developments, similar to those it previously delivered in partnership with US private equity firm Centerbridge Partners. This could include opportunities in other Irish cities where demand for new homes is high, such as Cork.

Through its joint venture with Centerbridge, Avestus has been actively involved in Irish house-building since 2013. Together they acquired three substantial development sites in Dublin: Hollywoodrath in Hollystown, Scholarstown Wood in Rathfarnham, and Station Manor in Portmarnock.

Planning permission for about 874 homes was granted across the three sites and while no new houses have been delivered yet at Portmarnock, homes constructed at the other two sites sold swiftly.

Last year it was revealed that the joint venture partners had plans to sell the sites following approaches from prospective buyers, and in recent weeks it has emerged that all three sites have been sold.

Original article appeared in the Irish Times - 14th June 2017