Naas Road retail site bought for €35m less than €60m sale in 2005
Royal Liver Retail Park likely to be redeveloped for housing in the long term
The area where the Royal Liver Retail Park is situated has strong transport links, including the Kylemore and Bluebell Luas stations and the nearby M50 motorway
The Royal Liver Retail Park on the Naas Road in west Dublin has been sold in an off-market deal for €25 million – 58 per cent less than the €60 million price it achieved in 2005.
The purchaser, Allied Real Estate Group (AREG), is a new venture founded last year by property players Adrian Langan, best known for leading the Barina Property Group, and Cathal McGinley.
Homebase occupies the largest unit in the retail park and AREG has secured the retailer’s continuation at the unit, in spite of the announcement last August that it was closing the shop along with two other Irish outlets as part of a company voluntary arrangement – an insolvency mechanism put in place by its owner, Hilco Capital.
The agreement with Homebase represents a positive outcome for AREG, which retains an important tenant, and for employees whose jobs will be saved. Other tenants at the retail park include Carpet Right, Furniture District and Eurogiant, with just one unit currently vacant.
The retail park, which was the first of its kind in Ireland when developed in 1990 for the equivalent of about €11.5 million, occupies 3.64 hectares (9 acres) that will likely be redeveloped in the long-term. Dublin City Council has identified it as one of a four key redevelopment sites in the area and suggests that it could accommodate landmark mixed-use buildings rising up to 10 storeys.
The retail park’s previous owner, the Fitzwilliam Partnership, whose members included Meath-based investor Willie Smyth, had ambitious plans for a significant redevelopment that included a 26-storey tower. With An Bord Pleanála’s rejection of those lofty plans in 2009, the area has again become a target for large-scale residential development, particularly thanks to its strong transport links, which include the Kylemore and Bluebell Luas stations and the nearby M50 motorway.
A prime example is the Marlet Property Group’s development site on Muirfield Drive, situated some 500m from the retail park. The 2.65-hectare (6.65-acre) site has planning for 358 apartments and was placed on the market in recent months seeking in excess of €12 million.