French investor acquires Cork docklands office for €60m

Corum increases value of Irish portfolio to €290m with Navigation Square block purchase

Navigation Square occupies a prime location at Albert Quay in Cork city’s docklands.

French property company Corum Asset Management, on behalf of its fund, Corum XL, has agreed to buy the NSQ1 building at O'Callaghan Properties' Navigation Square development in Cork city docklands. The deal, which is understood be valued at about €60 million, brings Corum's overall investment in the Irish market to date to just under €290 million.

The French investor's last purchase here saw it acquire Blackthorn House in Sandyford in south Dublin from Irish Life, for about €18 million in May of last year.

The NSQ1 building in Cork is the first of four buildings which make up O’Callaghan Properties’ 360,000sq ft Navigation Square, the city centre’s largest office development. Two blocks are already built and construction of the third is expected to commence by the end of the current year.

Navigation Square is a 2.25 acre site bounded by Albert Quay to the north, Victoria Road, Albert Road and Albert Street. The project will be capable of hosting some 3,000 employees when fully occupied. The development includes roof terraces with spectacular views of the city and port and has 100,000sq ft of basement parking for cars, bicycles and motorcycles.


Corum’s acquisition of NSQ1 was described as “a really positive endorsement for Cork and for the city’s docklands” by Brian O’Callaghan, managing director of O’Callaghan Properties.

Jonathan Hillyer of QRE Real Estate Advisers represented Corum in the off-market transaction.

While Corum made its first investments in the Irish market in 2017, the company has been particularly active here since the beginning of last year.

In January 2020, the French investment giant paid €30.5 million and €29.5 million respectively to acquire One Kilmainham Square in Dublin 8 and Classon House in Dublin 14 from a joint-venture partnership led by Avestus Capital Partners.

In 2019, Corum acquired the Tesco supermarket in Gorey, Co Wexford, and South Point at Grand Canal Dock, Dublin, for €21 million and €12.7 million respectively.

A year earlier it paid more than £16.4 million (€18.8 million) for 40-46 Donegall Place in Belfast city centre. The sale of the property, which is occupied by Next and Eason, represented the company’s first investment in the Northern Ireland market.

In 2017, Corum paid €14 million to add the Joyce’s Court retail and office complex off Talbot Street, Dublin, to its then €80 million portfolio of Irish assets. The company had previously acquired Voxpro Office Park in Cork and another office complex in Galway as well as Harvey Norman’s retail store in Cork.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times