Waterford’s City Square Shopping Centre sold for over €22m

Irish investor acquires scheme as US fund Marathon continues Irish retail asset sell-off

The ongoing disposal by Marathon Asset Management of its Irish retail assets continues apace. Just three weeks on from its sale of Galway's Eyre Square Shopping Centre for €9.575 million, the New York-headquartered property giant has secured a buyer for City Square Shopping Centre in Waterford.

While the Eyre Square scheme was acquired by a fund managed by Davy Real Estate, the buyer on this occasion is an individual private Irish investor. The new owner is understood to have paid just over €22 million for the centre, or around 10 per cent less than the €24.5 million agent Colliers had been guiding when it brought the City Square scheme to the market last September.

Located in the centre of Waterford city, City Square Shopping Centre is currently producing €1.54 million in annual rental income from a strong tenant line-up. While the scheme is anchored by Dunnes Stores, this unit was not included in the sale as it is owned separately. The key tenants do however include River Island, JD Sports, Peter Mark, GameStop, and Holland & Barrett.

The centre was recently upgraded and extended with a significant capital expenditure programme. The works included an expansion of the food court, additional retail units and general mall improvements. The development is laid out over two retail floors, including a two-storey 80,000sq ft department store (formerly occupied by Debenhams) and 34 retail units and kiosks. The scheme has a current average weekly footfall of approximately 110,000 and has direct access to a 490-space car park via High Street.

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Colliers say the space formerly occupied by Debenhams would lend itself to a single or multi-use letting, while the letting of new modern retail units fronting Arundel Square will also increase the rent roll further. Michele McGarry, who handled the sale, estimates the total rental income could reach €2.6 million per annum once these vacant units are occupied.

Commenting on the sale, Ms McGarry said: “We received strong interest in City Square, predominantly from domestic buyers who had an appetite for top -quality retail investments. The immediate asset management opportunities provide the buyer with a blank canvas to vastly improve the rent roll and add value”.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Acting Property Editor of The Irish Times