Irish real estate investor Avestus Capital Partners has paid over €38 million for a portfolio of 120 rental apartments developed by a company with links to developer Bernard McNamara at Santry in north Dublin.
While the deal for the scheme on the site of the former Swiss Cottage public house is understood to have been agreed as far back as 2019,the transaction was concluded in recent weeks.
Cinamol, an investment vehicle controlled by Mr McNamara and his family, acquired the 0.48 hectare (1.19 acre) Swiss Cottage site for around €4.5 million in 2018. The development of the apartments was partly funded by the packaging billionaire Paul Coulson, who is supporting several McNamara schemes through a Luxembourg-based company, Aldershot Holdings. Company documents dating from 2015 describe Mr Coulson as the sole shareholder of the company.
The Swiss Cottage scheme comprises 120 apartments in total, along with ancillary residential facilities including communal open space, roof terraces, residents’ lounges, a concierge service, meeting rooms and a laundry room. The portfolio consists of a mix of 26 one-bedroom units, 91 two-bedroom units and 3 three-bedroom units within a single block ranging in height from three storeys to seven storeys. The development also incorporates café, retail and restaurant units at ground floor level as well as 36 car parking spaces and 183 bicycle spaces.
Avestus Capital Partners' dedicated private rented sector (PRS) platform, Havitat, will be responsible for managing the Swiss Cottage scheme and for maintaining relations between landlord and tenant through the provision of on-site and off-site services. According to its website, Havitat is seeking rents of €1,650 and €1,775 per month respectively for the one and two-bedroom apartments at the Santry development.
While Avestus has been involved in Ireland's private rented sector (PRS) market since 2014, its commitment intensified in 2018 with its establishment of a €290 million fund dedicated to the sector. The fund is supported by Nordic and German institutional investors, as well as the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF).
In February last year, Avestus completed its most significant PRS purchase to date, paying just over €214 million for the Vert platform, a portfolio of 382 apartments distributed across two high-end developments in south Dublin. The portfolio comprising 197 units at Honeypark in Dún Laoghaire and 185 units at the Elmfield scheme in Leopardstownhad been brought to the market in September 2019 by agent CBRE at a guide price of €200 million on behalf of European real estate investment specialists Tristan Capital Partners and its Irish operating partners, SW3 Capital. The sale process was confidential and targeted towards a number of institutional investors.