Johnny Ronan company seeks €250m for Dublin docklands apartments

RGRE to build 471 apartments at Spencer Place

Developer Johnny Ronan’s Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) and its funding partners Colony Capital are seeking in excess of €250 million in forward funding for a scheme comprising up to 471 new homes in the Dublin docklands.

A selected number of institutional investors are understood to have been quietly invited in recent days to submit offers for what is being described by agent CBRE as “Dublin’s first purpose-built private rented sector scheme”.

Located immediately adjacent to Salesforce’s new European headquarters, which is now under construction, the “Spencer Place Residential” portfolio is being offered for sale as two private rented sector blocks.

Prospective purchasers are being invited to submit offers on both a "current scheme" comprising 349 apartments and a 100-bed aparthotel, and for an "enhanced option" consisting of 471 apartments and 105 co-living units. While planning permission has already been granted in the case of the current scheme, the enhanced offering is currently the subject of a planning application to An Bord Pleanála.


According to the information pack circulated to selected parties, the apartments will account for 370,354sq ft (34,707sq m) of the 717,000sq ft (66,599sq ft) of space RGRE is set to deliver as part of its wider mixed-use scheme at Spencer Place. The balance of the development will accommodate Salesforce’s new urban campus.

With an expected working population of 4,500, the Salesforce building should provide the purchaser of the Spencer Place residential portfolio with a steady supply of tenants.

Distributed across two blocks of 11 and 12 storeys respectively, 49 per cent of the apartments at Spencer Place will be one-bedroom units, while the remaining 51 per cent will be set aside for two-bedroom units.

The scheme has been designed to cater for the upper end of the residential rental market. Quite apart from the high standard of fit out in the apartments themselves, the development will include a hotel-style lobby reception with concierge desk manned on a 24/7 basis, an electric car share club, a rooftop residents’ lounge and garden with fitted barbeque facilities, a penthouse residents’ gym, private dining spaces and a multi-media room.

While the process of selecting a buyer for the Spencer Place scheme has only commenced, a source said they expected US-headquartered Greystar, Deutsche Bank subsidiary DWS, and German fund Patrizia to be among the parties vying to secure ownership of the scheme.

In the case of Greystar, the acquisition of the Spencer Place Residential scheme would go some way to meeting its stated aim of growing its Dublin build-to-rent (BTR) portfolio to between 5,000 and 10,000 units. The company is currently in the process of acquiring all 268 of the apartments being developed by Sean Mulryan's Ballymore at the nearby Dublin Landings scheme for €175.5 million.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Acting Property Editor of The Irish Times