Marist Fathers secure €20m from sale of south Dublin lands

Francis Rhatigan’s Winterbrook plans to develop apartments at Milltown site

An aerial view of the Mount St Mary’s site on Dundrum Road, Milltown, Dublin 14. Emmet House (inset) was not included in the sale

An aerial view of the Mount St Mary’s site on Dundrum Road, Milltown, Dublin 14. Emmet House (inset) was not included in the sale

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Francis Rhatigan’s Winterbrook has begun formulating plans for it latest apartment scheme following the off-market purchase of a prime south Dublin site from the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers).

While the value of the deal has not been disclosed, The Irish Times understands the developer has paid about €20 million for the Mount St Mary’s site in Milltown, Dublin 14.

Mr Rhatigan’s acquisition and development of the 3.95 acre (1.6 hectare) site is being supported by State-backed lender Activate Capital and by existing Winterbrook shareholder BGF. Activate has provided €35 million of site acquisition and development finance, while BGF has provided €4 million to support the project.

Winterbrook has appointed Reddy Architecture + Urbanism to develop plans for the Milltown lands with a view to delivering a high-density apartment scheme with a near-zero energy rating, co-working facilities, a gym and fitness studio and concierge service.

The proposed scheme will occupy a prime location on Dundrum Road and within a short walk of the Luas Green Line stops at Milltown and Windy Arbour.

The news of Mr Rhatigan’s acquisition of the Mount St Mary’s site comes less than a week after The Irish Times reported on Winterbrook’s €49 million sale of 94 apartments it is building at Dalkey in south Dublin to Irish Life’s Irish Residential Property Fund.

Due for completion in the second half of 2022, the development on Harbour Road will comprise a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, and will be aimed towards the upper end of the private rented sector market.

Beyond its planned delivery of the Dalkey apartment complex Winterbrook is currently completing projects in Foxrock and in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

Surrounding area

Commenting on his company’s latest site acquisition in Milltown, Winterbrook’s managing director Francis Rhatigan said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have acquired it. We are hugely confident about the outlook for the market, and we are looking forward to creating a development of real quality which will enhance the surrounding area.”

Robert Gallagher, chief executive of Activate Capital, said: “We are pleased once again to be supporting Winterbrook in terms of both site acquisition and the development of Mount St Mary’s. It is exceptionally located, and given Winterbrook’s track record of high-quality development, the potential is significant.”

Leo Casey, head of Ireland with BGF, added: “A key pillar of BGF’s investment strategy is to support our existing portfolio companies with follow-on capital as they continue to grow, and we are therefore delighted to support Francis and his team at Winterbrook in acquiring this landmark site.”

Winterbrook was advised by Patrick F O’Reilly & Co (legal) and Deloitte (transaction). Agent JLL acted for the Marist Fathers in the transaction.