Marathon Asset Management buys shopping centre in Tralee for €59m

Manor West Retail Park sold to US fund that recently bought Waterford complex

Manor West Retail Park in Tralee, Co Kerry:  will show an initial yield of just over 7 per cent

Manor West Retail Park in Tralee, Co Kerry: will show an initial yield of just over 7 per cent

 

One of Ireland’s best-performing shopping centres, Manor West Retail Park in Tralee, Co Kerry, has been sold to an American fund for €59 million.

The investment will show an initial yield of just over 7 per cent for New York-based Marathon Asset Management, which has invested heavily in the distressed Irish property market over the past two years. The Tralee investment is to be held in an Irish-registered company, Bryant Park.

The fully occupied Tralee park has an overall retail floor area of around 32,515 sq m (350,000 sq ft) and an unusually strong mix of high-profile traders. The centre attracts an average of 90,000 shoppers a week and has a rent roll of around €4 million a year.

Marathon’s interest in the shopping complex was apparently triggered by its earlier purchase of the Tesco and Debenhams stores, which were sold as part of the larger portfolio of properties. The two stores combined cover about 9,290 sq m (100,000 sq ft) and were originally acquired by Roches Stores.

They traded as a food store and a department store before the Roche family sold out their business to Debenhams. Manor West was developed on the edge of Tralee town by local developers Boyle Brothers and first opened for business in 2001. The second phase, which brought the number of stores up to about 30, began trading around 2006. The park now includes a hotel and has surface parking for around 1,000 cars.

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Marathon has bought a broad mixture of Irish properties in Ireland, most of them at attractive prices. Last July, the New York company paid €120 million for the loans associated with Heuston South Quarter, beside Heuston Station, which were offloaded by the Lloyds Banking Group. The €9.5 million rental income gave an immediate return of 5.8 per cent.

Marathon also surprised the market by buying in almost 600 Dublin apartments, spread across seven different developments, for around €116 million.

Last October, the investment company again emerged as the top bidder for five retail parks, including the first phase of The Park Carrickmines, a complex in south Dublin. The consideration in this case was €155 million. The four other parks were the M1 Retail Park in Drogheda; Lakepoint Retail Park in Mullingar; Poppyfield Retail Park in Clonmel; and Four Lakes Retail Park, outside Carlow Town.

Just before Marathon tied up the Tralee investment, it moved swiftly to buy the City Square Shopping Centre in Waterford for just over €21 million. The company is expected to reposition the entrance to the centre and embark on a two-storey extension to create additional retail space.

Declan Stone, of Colliers International, advised the Boyle Brothers in the sale; Karl Stewart, of DTZ Sherry FitzGerald, acted for Marathon.