Hammerson meets with 1916 relatives over Moore Street site

UK-listed group reports rent from its Irish properties grew 7.4% last year to £34.8m

Dundrum Town Centre  drove much of the growth in Hammerson’s business in Dublin. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Dundrum Town Centre drove much of the growth in Hammerson’s business in Dublin. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

Retail property developer Hammerson has met with key figures in the dispute over the future of one of its sites in Dublin that includes the location of an Easter 1916 battlefield.

Hammerson, the London-listed group with an interest in a number of Dublin malls, including Dundrum Town Centre, the Ilac and Swords Pavilion, reported that rent from its Irish properties grew 7.4 per cent last year to £34.8 million (€39.5m) .

Simon Betty, the group’s retail director for Ireland, said on Monday that Hammerson recently met key stakeholders in a dispute over the status of the 1916 battlefield, which is part of a site that the developer owns between O’Connell Street and Moore Street in central Dublin.

“Preliminary meetings have taken place, and we think they have gone pretty well,” Mr Betty said.

He added that Hammerson wanted to continue engaging with the interested parties, and stressed that it was aware of the site’s historic significance and heritage.

The Court of Appeal recently overturned a declaration that buildings on and around Moore Street, part of the Hammerson site, were a national monument following a case taken by the State.

Planning permission

Colm Moore, nominee of the 1916 Relatives’ Association, which originally sought to have the buildings declared a national monument, can still lodge an appeal. The court is due to make a number of orders related to the case on Wednesday.

The site has planning permission for redevelopment as a shopping centre which runs until 2022.

Mr Betty also indicated that Hammerson could look at further development of the Pavilion Shopping Centre, particularly as the area could ultimately benefit from the construction of the proposed Metro North rail line.

However, he noted that the company had only acquired its interest in the centre, in which property fund Iput and Irish Life also have stakes, last September, and was still assessing its potential.

Dundrum, Ireland’s biggest shopping centre, drove much of the growth in Hammerson’s business here. The company earned extra income from rent reviews and net lettings in the centre, located on Dublin’s southside.

Leasing activity

Recent recruits to Dundrum include specialist food store and restaurant Fallon & Byrne, and school supplies specialist Smiggle, which then agreed to open in the Ilac, to where Hammerson also signed up Regatta, the Works and BBs Coffee.

“There’s been good leasing activity, taking advantage of a pretty supportive economic situation in Ireland and especially around the central Dublin area,” Mr Betty said.

Net rental income across the FTSE 100 group, which owns properties such as the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham and Brent Cross in London, rose 7 per cent to £370.4 million in the year to the end of December, aided by its growth in the Republic.