Republic set to become biggest EU market for Kennedy Wilson

Developer intends spending more than €500 million in Dublin by 2022

Kennedy Wilson recently finished a commercial and residential complex on the south bank of the Liffey, Capital Dock, which it owns in a 50/50 partnership with insurer Axa. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Kennedy Wilson recently finished a commercial and residential complex on the south bank of the Liffey, Capital Dock, which it owns in a 50/50 partnership with insurer Axa. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

The US owner of the Shelbourne Hotel and builder of Dublin’s Capital Dock says the Republic is set to become its biggest European market by income.

Kennedy Wilson, which builds and leases properties in the US, the Republic and Britain, said the value of its assets fell to $6.99 billion (€6.3 billion) at the end of June from $7.38 billion on December 31st.

Speaking to analysts yesterday, chairman and chief executive, William McMorrow, said that the Republic was on track to become its biggest European market by net operating income.

Kennedy Wilson’s European business – the Republic and Britain – accounted for 52 per cent of the group’s $410 million net operating income in the three months ended June 30th.

About 40 per cent of the US company’s development pipeline is in Dublin. Kennedy Wilson is building 1,100 apartments and 550,000sq ft of offices in the city and intends spending more than €500 million there by 2022.

The group owns the Shelbourne Hotel and Clancy Dock apartments in Kilmainham among other properties.

Capital Dock

It recently finished a commercial and residential complex on the south bank of the Liffey dubbed Capital Dock which it owns in a 50/50 partnership with insurer Axa.

Kennedy Wilson president Mary Ricks said the firm had signed leases for a craft beer bar and restaurant, the Quarterdeck, and two food shops, at Capital Dock.

JP Morgan has taken offices there, while the development holds 190 apartments that the US real estate developer intends letting.

The State’s National Asset Management Agency and Canadian insurer Fairfax Financial Holdings recently sold their stakes in Capital Dock to Kennedy Wilson and Axa. The US group is the development’s asset manager.

Ms Ricks told analysts that the group recently began building offices at Hanover Quay, close to Capital Dock, and on Kildare Street, around the corner from the Shelbourne Hotel.

“On a combined basis these two office projects will total 133,000 square feet and we’ll deliver in 2021,” she said.

“Almost all our development in Europe is in the high-growth Dublin market and we continue to make solid progress on all of our projects.”

Ms Ricks noted that 26 per cent of all homes in Dublin are rented, compared with 12 per cent in 1991.

She said the company aimed to be a leading player in building apartments to let in Dublin.

“With the current portfolio, including future pipeline on sites we already own, at over 4,000 units, we remain firmly on track to hit our near- to medium-term goal of growing our multi-family portfolio to 5,000 units,” she added.