Billionaire Zara founder expected to bid on South King Street portfolio

Price expected to hit €165m for investment with rent roll in excess of €6.8m

The H&M building is among a portfolio of shops, offices and apartments near the Gaiety Theatre. Photograph: Alan Betson

The H&M building is among a portfolio of shops, offices and apartments near the Gaiety Theatre. Photograph: Alan Betson

 
One of the world’s richest men, Spanish founder of the Zara fashion chain Amancio Ortega, is among four bidders shortlisted to buy a row of shops, offices and apartments next to the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin’s South King Street.

Bidding on the investment is expected to reach around €165 million and will include more than €40 million to cover the cost of redeveloping an adjoining row of shops and overhead apartments along Chatham Street.

The rent roll for the overall portfolio will be in excess of €6.8 million with a 47 per cent retail weighting and a yield of 4.25 per cent.

Ortega (81) is reported to have a personal fortune of $85 billion, putting him marginally behind Bill Gates and Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos in a recent study by the Mail Online.

Ortega’s hugely successful Zara is one of the anchor tenants in the South King Street complex, along with fashion traders H&M and Warehouse.

The global property investor Hines may still end up as the top bidder after buying the Grafton Collection more than a year ago for €55 million-plus.

The portfolio included a number of retail buildings as well as Hickeys Pharmacy at the junction of Grafton Street and Duke Street.

Domhnaill O’Sullivan of Savills and Rod Nowlan of Bannon are handling the sale of the South King Street investment on behalf of US fund Lone Star.

The centre has 4,566sq m (49,158sq ft) of retail space as well as 5,568sq m (56,936sq ft) of office accommodation.

Zara originally agreed a base rent of €915,000 as well as a top-up rent of 9 per cent of turnover.

H&M originally settled for a base rent of €800,000 with a turnover-related top-up of 9 per cent. In the case of Warehouse, the rent was originally set at €600,000 and did not include top-up charge based on turnover.

American survey technology provider Qualtrics is the main tenant in the office element known as One Clarendon Row, paying €624/sq m (€58/sq ft) for 2,540sq m (27,340sq ft) on a 15-year lease with a break option in year seven.

Qualtrics is also to lease an estimated 3,716sq m (40,000sq ft), which is due to be developed along Chatham Street. That development will include retail space at ground and basement levels, with apartments on the top floor.

The leases already in place have a weighted average unexpired term of 8.9 years to run.

The portfolio includes six penthouses which could be expected to attract top rents because of their superb location off the top of Grafton Street.

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