Gerry Conlon buys Trinity Street car park for more than €18m

Investment includes three ground-floor shops and four self-contained office units

The retail units and office suites along with Trinity Street car park off Dame Street, Dublin

The retail units and office suites along with Trinity Street car park off Dame Street, Dublin

 

The property developer Gerry Conlon has bought the hugely successful Trinity Street car park off Dame Street in Dublin’s south inner city. The Co Kildare businessman, who owns a range of investment properties, paid in excess of €18 million for the car park, which was offered for sale by CBRE at more than €17.3 million.

Mr Conlon has an interest in other commercial properties in the same area of the city. These include the Central Hotel at the junction of Exchange and South Great George’s streets, which is due to be upgraded and extended. He and an another investor, Colm Gunne, have links with a company called Bridlewood, which along with a US-based fund is due to develop a new 38 bedroom hotel at 13 Trinity Street.

The Trinity Street car park will show an initial return of about 4.5 per cent after allowing for standard purchasing costs, including the new 6 per cent stamp duty.

The car park and adjoining facilities are let under a single 35-year lease that is due to expire in 2029. It produces a rental income of €920,000 – €636,000 from the car park and €284,000 from shops and offices that form part of the centre. The best known retail units are the Pichet Restaurant and Excel Dry Cleaners.

The Trinity Street development was originally funded with the help of a 10-year tax break, then available to encourage the development of high-rise car parks in the city.

The 1994 investment was sold six years after opening to Firstwood Partnership, a five-man consortium headed by broadcaster Gay Byrne, senior counsel Anthony Kidney, solicitors Eric Brunker and Stephen Hamilton, and Dermot Murphy of Clonskeagh Motors. The group recently decided to offload the overall investment.

The facilities have been managed from the start by a company controlled by Veronica and Michelle Gallagher, who sublet the retail and office space to third parties.

The 171-space car park is among of the most successful of its kind in the city – it charges one of the highest rates of €4 per hour – because of its prime location between Exchequer and Dame streets.

The three ground-floor retail units extend to 490sq m (5,275sq ft) and like the car park were developed on a site previously occupied by the Moira Hotel. The four self-contained office units on the upper floor have a combined floor area of 191sq m (2,060sq ft).

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