Richmond Homes buys Dublin residential site with scope for 1,600 homes

Irish Times
October 23, 2019

Irish housebuilder Richmond Homes has emerged as the successful purchaser of a 51 hectare (125 acre) site in Baldoyle, north Dublin, in what is one of the biggest development land deals of the year. The substantial landbank, dubbed “Project Shoreline”, was placed on the market in June by joint receivers Tom O’Brien and Simon Coyle of Mazars through agent Savills quoting € 42 million. It is understood that the asking price was not achieved and the winning bid was in the range of €36 to € 38 million, with the sale having completed in recent days.

The Baldoyle site comprises 23 hectares (56 acres) of residential zoned land and 28 hectares (69 acres) of lands zoned for open space and high-amenity space and was offered for sale with the benefit of an existing planning permission for 546 units. A development feasibility assessment for the site suggested that it could accommodate at least 1,592 units through further planning permissions. If Richmond Homes opts to pursue such a development, it would be one of the largest in the history of the State.

It is probable that any development of the lands will incorporate elements of both build-to-sell and build-to-rent accommodation. The lands are located directly adjacent to the Clongriffin Dart station, affording access to Dublin city centre within 20 minutes, and regular access to Malahide and to Belfast. The area has seen a flurry of activity in recent times including Gannon Homes’ Belltree scheme and Cairn Homes’ Parkside development.

Planning decisions

While those schemes delivered hundreds of new homes intended for sale to individual purchasers, many of which were first-time buyers, developments intended for the private rental market will result in a far greater delivery of new homes in the area. Developer Twinlite is in the process of completing 372 rental apartments in Clongriffin and Gannon Homes is awaiting decisions on planning applications to build 1,530 new homes – of which 943 are intended for the rental market – in the area.

Meanwhile, in south Dublin, Richmond Homes has agreed to sell its upmarket Belvoir Park apartment complex on Stillorgan’s Upper Kilmacud Road for about €28 million to an institutional purchaser. Due for delivery early next year, at which point the sale will complete, the scheme incorporates 55 units, of which nine are one-bedroomed units (50-66sq m), 34 are two-beds (78-114sq m) and 12 are three-beds (96-141sq m). The development comprises two new-build blocks along with a refurbished period structure known as Kilmacud House.

Targeted sales campaign

Richmond Homes appointed agent Hooke & MacDonald earlier this year to carry out a targeted sales campaign aimed at investors in the private rented sector (PRS), resulting in about six parties chasing the Stillorgan complex. The price achieved equates to an average of about € 510,000 per unit, reflecting investors’ continued strong appetite for rental stock in prime locations. The development is situated about 750 metres from the Stillorgan Luas stop, while the Sandyford Business District (SBD), home to major employers such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft, is in close proximity.

Article originally appeared in Irish Times on 23 October 2019

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