Lufthansa Technik Airmotive site for €7m
16-acre Saggart site ripe for redevelopment
Technik Airmotive Ireland facility in Saggart: closed earlier this year with the loss of over 400 jobs
This substantial industrial facility, which comprises some 21,800sq m (235,000sq ft) of industrial space, sits on a prominent 6.5-hectare (16 acres) corner site fronting the Naas Road with extensive frontage to the access road to Baldonnell Business Park. There is also a three-storey office element to the front with a gross internal area of 3,072sq m (33,076sq ft) and extensive car-parking at a number of locations on site.
The main industrial building extends to around 17,500sq m (188,368sq ft) and provides a mixture of high and low-bay industrial accommodation with additional buildings of some 2,400sq m (25,833sq ft). Its central section benefits from a “north light” roof, incorporating glazed panels and an increased clear internal height of 10.1m, reducing to 4.97m to the low bay sections along the sides of the main building.
Production areas in the industrial part include a sealed, power-floated concrete floor, suspended halogen lighting and concrete block infill walls to full height. In addition, there are a number of ancillary buildings including a bespoke aircraft engine testing facility of reinforced concrete construction.
The property is close to the outer ring road at the Kingswood junction, which links Tallaght with the N4 Galway road. There are a number of high-profile occupiers in the vicinity, including MJ Flood, Saab/Seat and DAF. The property is also close to Citywest Business Park, and the red Luas line at Saggart while the completion of the Newlands flyover (due spring 2015) will enhance transport links.
Zoning for the site is objective EP2 “to facilitate opportunities for manufacturing, R&D facilities, light industry and employment and enterprise related uses in industrial areas and business parks” under the South Dublin Co Council Development Plan 2010-2016.
This allows for a wide range of uses to include: car park, cash and carry wholesale, enterprise centre, heavy vehicle park, fuel depot, industry-general, industry-light, industry-special, motor sales, office-based industry, offices less than 100sq m (10,764sq ft), petrol station, retail warehouse, recycling, service garage, shop local, transport depot and warehousing.
Given that the buildings are in a good state of repair and that there are very few other strategically located facilities of a similar scale in the capital, this makes the former Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland facility the “perfect redevelopment opportunity” according to the agents.
“The property offers superb large-scale redevelopment potential in this highly prominent location,” says Ross Shorten, a director at Lisney.
“We expect the property to be sold to a major fund or investor seeking to acquire a site suited to a new business park development. There are also a number of major Irish companies seeking new facilities close to the M50 and this could hit the spot.”
Lufthansa Technik was originally the engineering and maintenance division of German airline Lufthansa, but was spun off from the main group in 1994.
Its Saggart facility, which was set up in 1980 by Aer Lingus with Lufthansa Technik taking a 60 per cent shareholding in 1997 and full ownership in 1999, specialised in aircraft engine overhaul but turnover in this division fell sharply in 2013 which forced the company to issue formal redundancy notices to staff shortly before last Christmas.
A month-long consultation process involving workers, unions and the employer followed during which time a possible buyer emerged in a US-based group involving former GPA executive Declan Treacy. But the company said this did not lead to an acceptable offer.
As recently as 2010, the Saggart facility had been chosen as an MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) site for the IAE V2500 engine, used by Lufthansa and other carriers. This saw the company invest $40 million in equipping the operation to handle this engine type and implement strategic improvement and business processes at the operation. The investment was supported by IDA Ireland in the hope of securing the business and employment into the future.
Despite closing its Saggart operation, earlier this year Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Holdings Ireland reported profits of $16 million (€12.5 million) in 2013 – down some 46 per cent on 2012. The accounts showed it cost the company $58.3 million to shut the Saggart facility and lay off its staff, including redundancy payments of $38 million and other employee costs of $9.7 million.
Since the Saggart closure, the Irish element of the group is composed of Lufthansa Technik Turbine Shannon (aircraft engine component repairs); Shannon Aerospace (aircraft maintenance); and an engine and component leasing arm.
Lufthansa Technik Airmotive Ireland was once ranked 227th in The Irish Times list of Top 1,000 companies in Ireland.