€140 million for 25 city centre investments

Receivers put former Liam Carroll properties on market at steep discounts

A portfolio of 25 property investments, mainly in central Dublin and valued at close to €2 billion during the boom, are to be offered for sale on the international market at €140 million.

All but one of the assets belonged to developer Liam Carroll's Danninger company and were originally financed by Bank of Scotland (Ireland). A further tranche of properties owned by the same developer, including shopping centres in Dún Laoghaire and Clondalkin, and office buildings in the north docklands, are expected to be offered for sale later this year by Nama.

Mr Carroll’s property and investment empire was one of the first to collapse in the property and banking crises with debts estimated at over €1.2 billion.

John Moran of Jones Lang LaSalle is handling the sale of the Ulysses Portfolio for David Hughes and Luke Charleton of EY who were appointed receivers by Bank of Scotland (Ireland).


The bank has enhanced the appeal of the portfolio by including the prestigious period headquarters of the Department of Justice and Equality at 94 St Stephen's Green which was owned not by Carroll but by Galway-based James E Cormican and his wife, Helen. The bank appointed David Carson of Deloitte as receiver to the 1,950sq m (21,000sq ft) building which is leased by the State until 2018 at a rent of €1,020,000.

The portfolio is producing an overall rental income of €13.94 million, with more than 53 per cent of it coming directly from either central government or semi-state agencies. At the current asking price, a purchaser could expect an income yield of 9.53 per cent.

The buildings are concentrated within Dublin 1 and 7 (accounting for over 82 per cent of the rent) with the remainder in Dublin 2, 4, 8 and 20. The wide range of buildings has an overall floor area of around 50,769sq m (546,500sq ft) and includes 14 offices, 51 retail units and 31 apartments, all of them with the exception of two shops rented on 90 different tenancies. The overall price being quoted equates to a valuation of around €256 per sq ft (€2,755 per sq m).

With a large number of mainly overseas buyers looking for high yielding investments, there is considerable confidence that the Ulysses properties will be sold in one lot. However, if a single buyer does not emerge, then Jones Lang LaSalle plans to break the portfolio into three separate lots, the largest with 11 investments, another with 10 properties and the third lot with four interlinking properties in and around Jervis Street.

There are any number of fund managers equipped to handle such as extensive portfolio and while the strong income returns will appeal to all of them, a close look at the variety of properties will show that the rent roll can be considerably improved through astute asset management.

Apart from the Department of Justice HQ on St Stephen’s Green, other notable properties included in the sale are King’s Inn House, a 5,759sq m (62,000sq ft) multi-let office building on Parnell Street producing €1.48m per annum and Chapter House, a 7,246sq m (78,000sq ft) block primarily let to the OPW, along with nine apartments, on Upper Abbey Street showing an income return of €3 million.

Another big performer is the Millennium Walkway Complex, a development of offices, retail and apartments extending to 9,129sq m (98,262sq ft) at Grand Strand Street and Jervis Street which is producing rents of €1.95 million. Almost one-third of this income comes from either government or semi-state bodies.

Danninger's commercial buildings were developed over more than two decades and in many instances included a residential element which was sold during the mainly buoyant late 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Carroll was easily the largest and most enterprising developer in the inner city where he frequently picked up cheap sites because so many areas were then seriously rundown.

City centre properties
What's in the sale

Lot 1: includes 11 offices, five retail units and 13 apartments. Total floor area: 33,967sq m. Total rent roll: €10,174,752.
The buildings in this lot include: 94 St Stephen's Green, D2 (Dept of Justice HQ of 1,979sq m and four apartments, rented at €1.02m); King's Inn House, Parnell St, D1 (5,759sq m of offices producing rent of €1.8m); Chapter House, Upr Abbey St, D1 (offices of 7,309sq m and nine apartments, rent €3,040,974); Grand Canal House, Grand Canal St, D4 (offices of 1,474sq m, rent €260,573); Macken House, Upr Mayor St, D1 (5,326sq m of offices and three retail units, rent €714,058); 48-49 Nth Brunswick St, D7 (offices of 1,706sq m, rent €685,467); 89-94 Capel St, D1 (2,546sq m of offices and one retail unit, rent €729,322); 21-24 Capel St, D1 (3,416sq m of offices and one retail unit, rent €1,107,376); 31-35 Bow St, D7 (1,057sq m of offices, rent €450,000); 16-22 Green St, D7 (2,697sq m of offices, rent €611,546); 25-27 Middle Gardiner St, D1 (686sq m of offices, rent €78,000).

Lot 2: includes one office building and 35 retail units. Total floor area: 7,675sq m. Total rent roll: €1,814,439.
Buildings in this lot include: 1-7 Lwr Liffey St, D1 (six retail units with 389sq m which are producing rent of €258,853); 2-17 Bachelor's Walk, D1 (11 retail units with 653sq m, rented at €246,650); The Tannery, 48-56 Cork St, D8 (2,681sq m of offices and three retail units, rent €581,272); The Tramyard, Inchicore, D8 (retail unit with 979sq m, rent €173,536); The Weir, Chapelizod, D20 (two retail units with 363sq m, rent €109,000); Francis St/Swifts Alley, D8 (four retail units with 1,468sq m, rent €268,025); 4-10 Upr Abbey St, D1 (four retail units with 293sq m, rent €71,103); 7-8 Capel St, D1 (one retail unit with 344sq m, rent €76,000); 23 & 40 Forbes Quay, D2 (two vacant retail units with 153sq m); 108/109 Parnell St, D1(one retail unit with 348sq m, rent €30,000).

Lot 3: includes 11 retail units, two office buildings and 31 apartments. Total floor area: 9,128sq m. Total rent roll: €1,951,859.
The buildings in this lot include: Millennium House, Great Strand St, D1 (office and one retail unit with 2,948sq m producing rent of €553,346); Jervis House, Jervis St, D1 (offices with 4,056sq m, rented at €783,213); Jervis House (five retail units with 653sq m, rent €265,954); 1 Jervis St, D1 (18 apartments and five retail units extending to 1,468sq m, rented at €349,346).

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan is the former commercial-property editor of The Irish Times