Waterford’s City Square Shopping Centre seeking €24.5m

Property comes to market as US fund Marathon continues its Irish retail assets disposal

City Square Shopping Centre occupies a prime location in Waterford. The scheme is anchored by Dunnes Stores (not included in the sale)

City Square Shopping Centre occupies a prime location in Waterford. The scheme is anchored by Dunnes Stores (not included in the sale)

 

US investment fund Marathon Asset Management is looking to dispose of another of its Irish retail assets, as it puts Waterford’s landmark City Square Shopping Centre on the market for €24.5 million.

The move follows the US investment giant’s recent agreement of a deal to sell three of its best-known retail parks, known as the Parks Collection, to developer Pat Crean’s Marlet Group for about €78 million.

City Square Shopping Centre enjoys a prime retail pitch in the heart of Waterford city. While the scheme is anchored by Dunnes Stores, this unit is not included in the sale as it is owned separately. Key tenants, meanwhile, include River Island, JD Sports, Peter Mark, GameStop and Holland & Barrett. The sale also includes the former Debenhams department store, which comprises 7,432sq m (80,000sq ft) of prime retail space over two floors.

The centre is currently generating total rental income of €1.58 million a year, with expected total market rent of more than €2.6 million a year on the successful letting of the vacant units.

The centre’s €24.5 million guide price equates to a capital value of €175 per sq ft, a net initial yield (NIY) of 5.71 per cent and a reversionary yield of 10 per cent on the re-letting of the vacant units.

The scheme comes with 450 parking spaces, has a current average weekly footfall of approximately 110,000, and is a prime retail destination in the city, with 34 retail units and kiosks.

Michele McGarry, head of capital markets with Colliers, who is handling the sale on behalf of Marathon, says City Square offers plenty of potential for a new investor.

“We expect strong interest in the sale of City Square on behalf of domestic and overseas buyers with an appetite for top-quality retail investments. The immense asset management opportunities available offer the buyer a blank canvas to vastly improve the rent roll and to add value,” she says.

Divestment strategy

The sale of the Waterford shopping centre represents the latest in a series of disposals by Marathon. The New York-headquartered investor acquired City Square in 2015 for €21 million, at a time when it was producing an annual rental income of €1.7 million. Marathon subsequently upgraded and extended the centre, with works including an expansion of the food court, additional retail units and general mall improvements.

The fund has just agreed a sale for its Parks Collection portfolio, which comprises Belgard Retail Park in Tallaght, the M1 Retail Park near Drogheda, Co Louth, and Poppyfield Retail Park in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. It also recently instructed agent Cushman & Wakefield to bring another of its foremost regional retail assets to the market, Manor West Shopping Park in Tralee, Co Kerry, for €55.2 million.