Development Securities to rebrand, commits to Dublin

Property group to become U+I, expecting £10m profit from Dublin investments

Union Investment has committed to forward fund the development of Burlington House, which will deliver 15,992 square metres (172,00 sq ft) of net office space

Union Investment has committed to forward fund the development of Burlington House, which will deliver 15,992 square metres (172,00 sq ft) of net office space

 

UK listed property group Development Securities expects to make a profit of £10 million (€13.5m) from three of its Dublin investments in the year to the end of February 2016.

Matthew Weiner, the company’s chief executive, told The Irish Times that this profit would be generated on its interests in apartments and offices at Percy Place, the Robswall residential development in Malahide, and Charlemont Clinic, a near one-acre site earmarked for a 182-bedroom hotel subject to planning approval.

“It’s in planning and we expect a decision by the year end,” Mr Weiner said of Charlemont.

Mr Weiner said Burlington House, where construction has begun on a 172,000 sq ft office development near Leeson Street bridge, was probably its most “exciting” development.

Development Securities is a 20 per cent partner in the project and expects to book a profit of between €5 million and €10 million from its involvement by full year 2018, he said.

“It will be a fantastic building and will knock the socks off anything else in the market,” he said, adding that pre-letting would begin in the first quarter of 2016 and construction to complete a year later.

Irish property developer Johnny Ronan is also involved in the Burlington House project.

In terms of future opportunities in Dublin, Mr Weiner said the company was looking at possible public private partnerships (PPPs) with landowners or local authorities for regeneration projects.

It is currently pitching for a PPP to regenerate a site known as Vat 7 in the Digital Hub close to the Guinness brewery.

“It’s an interesting opportunity that fits our skill set…we’re in the process,” he said.

Development Securities has eight projects in Dublin – Percy Place, Burlington House, Robswall, Charlemont Clinic, Donnybrook House, Nutgrove Retail Park/Beacon South Quarter, and Avid – with some €50 million invested here at any one time.

In the six months to the end of August, Development Securities acquired two retail investment assets here alongside with Paddy McKillen’s Clarendon Properties– Nutgrove Retail Centre and Beacon South Quarter – for €12.8 million and a net initial yield of 6.72 per cent

Separately, Development Securities is to seek shareholder approval next month to change its name to U and I Group. This is designed to reflect its £27.4 million purchase in 2014 of the Cathedral Group and is subsequent integration into the business.

Development said the formal integration of the two companies will see the implementation of new strategic initiatives with a focus on larger regeneration opportunities in Greater London, Dublin and Manchester. It said integration will also see the creation of off-balance sheet, specialist platforms for specific asset classes, starting with the launch of a marketing process to establish a private rented sector (PRS) joint venture, with the potential for roll-out in Dublin.

Development Securities also announced headline profit before tax of £1.4 million for the six months ending August 31st.

For the six months to the end of August 2014, the property group reported a £18 million pre-tax profit.