Ashford House mixed-use investment for sale at €1.95m

Landmark Wicklow pub and retail scheme offers scope for addition of housing

The Ashford House investment occupies a 1.8-acre site at the heart of Ashford village in Co Wicklow

The combination of Wicklow’s long-standing attraction as a tourist destination for both Irish and international visitors coupled with its growing popularity as a location of choice for those seeking a home in Dublin’s commuter belt should see strong interest in the sale of a major mixed-use investment in Ashford.

The Ashford House portfolio is being offered to the market on the instruction of receiver Declan Taite of Kroll Advisory, at a guide price of €1.95 million by Lisney.

Situated on a 0.7-hectare (1.8-acre) plot at the heart of Ashford village, the portfolio offers the prospective purchaser the opportunity to secure a commercial investment along with the scope to deliver a residential development.

The subject property currently comprises a well-maintained, two-storey mixed-use investment building (tenants not affected) consisting of ground-floor retail units, a large, licensed premises, first-floor offices, a large enclosed rear yard, and a substantial, recently resurfaced car park which is accessed directly from the street. The building extends to 1,869sq m (20,118sq ft) and is currently producing an income of almost €140,000 per annum, offering both reversionary potential and additional income through the letting of a currently vacant unit at the side of the property which overlooks the river Vartry. There are also stepped future rent increases from the licensed premises portion.


High demand

A feasibility study prepared by Crawford Architecture in advance of the sale suggests there is potential to develop 17 residential units and retail spaces (no planning status) on the adjoining car park (zoned “town centre”), while still leaving a substantial car park for commercial customers. With continuing high demand for residential accommodation, and increasing density trends, the selling agent says it is possible that a greater number of residential units could be secured through the planning process (subject to planning permission).

Ashford has been identified by Wicklow County Council as a location for the provision of high-quality housing, concentrated principally around Ashford town centre and lands within 500m of the town centre. The current town plan identifies potential for 858 new housing units in the town and a strategic reserve of lands for a further 284 units. (ref: Ashford Town Plan 2016-2022).

Situated at the entrance to the road leading up into the Wicklow Mountains, the Sally Gap and the Wicklow Gap (R772 & R762) and in an area very popular with tourists, walkers and cyclists, Ashford is also the location of hugely-popular Mount Usher Gardens and its shops and Avoca cafe.

Thomas Byrne of Lisney’s investment department says he expects the sale to attract considerable interest from investors and builders looking for both an investment opportunity with substantial added-value potential through asset management and development. Lisney say that approaches have already been made and are seeking offers in excess of €1.95 million.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times