High-profile leasings boost Hammerson’s Irish portfolio

UK group reports strong growth at Dundrum Town Centre and Pavilions in Swords

Fallon & Byrne  is set to open a new flagship food hall and delicatessen at Dundrum Town Centre, which is part-owned by Hammerson. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Fallon & Byrne is set to open a new flagship food hall and delicatessen at Dundrum Town Centre, which is part-owned by Hammerson. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

UK property group Hammerson has reported “strong leasing momentum” across its Irish business following a record year of activity.

In a trading statement, the company, which part-owns the Dundrum Town Centre, the Ilac Centre in Dublin and the Pavilions in Swords, said Ireland’s “high-growth market” was driving valuation growth across the group.

The company noted a number of high-profile leasings across its Irish portfolio.

“In Ireland, Pavilions in Swords had an impressive start to the year, with Smiggle taking its third store with Hammerson in Dublin, and River Island upsizing to a flagship store,” it said.

“At Dundrum, Dublin’s fine food emporium Fallon & Byrne is set to open a new flagship food hall and delicatessen to further reposition the leisure offer within Dundrum’s Pembroke district,” it said.

Hammerson also highlighted the “successful” Court of Appeal judgment in relation to the former Carlton Cinema site in Dublin’s north inner city.

Battlefield

In February, the Court of Appeal overturned a declaration that buildings and sites on and around Dublin’s Moore Street were a 1916 Rising battlefield comprising a national monument.

The judgment facilitates engagement with stakeholders on “the regeneration opportunity” for the five-acre site, Hammerson said.

“This is an outstanding European city-centre development site which adjoins the prime thoroughfares of Henry Street and O’Connell Street,” it said.

Hammerson said it did not intend to finalise shareholder documents related to its proposed acquisition of Intu Properties, as it awaits clarity on a bid from France’s Klépierre. The company rejected a £4.9 billion bid from the French company in March, months after it set out to buy smaller rival Intu.

Hammerson said the so-called “put up or shut up” deadline for Klépierre is April 16th. When the Klépierre bid was disclosed, Hammerson had said it remained “fully committed” to the acquisition of Intu, the owner of Manchester’s Trafford Centre.

Toxic

Britain’s retail sector has turned toxic in a climate of squeezed consumer spending laced with Brexit uncertainty. Shopping centre operators are grappling with fierce competition from online retailers such as Amazon, a rivalry that is driving consolidation across the commercial property sector.

“Whilst we recognise the difficult trading environment and challenges felt by many retail and restaurant formats in the UK, there continues to be good demand for space across our centres,” Hammerson said on Thursday.

The company said the year began well with leases signed totalling £7 million in the first three months of 2018, up 59 per cent from a year earlier.

– Additional reporting, Reuters