Two buildings in Dublin and Cork previously occupied by British retail giant Debenhams are now on the market for a combined €75 million.
Receivers Grant Thornton were appointed by Bank of Ireland earlier this year to oversee the sale of the properties, and property group Cushman & Wakefield has now been appointed as agent for the sales.
The property at 12-17 St Patrick’s Street in Cork City previously operated as Roches Stores for almost a century before the Roche family leased it to Debenhams in 2006. The Dublin premises at 54-62 Henry Street is also owned by companies associated with the Roches.
Both properties have remained empty since Debenhams shut the stores in May 2020. Cushman & Wakefield said both sites provide a “rare and exceptional opportunity” to acquire substantial commercial properties on two of the State’s leading retail streets.
The Henry Street building comprises four-storeys over a basement directly opposite the Arnotts department store. It encompasses about 19,509 sq m with 60m of frontage on to Henry Street.
The property occupies a site area of almost one acre and also has access into the Central Mall of the Ilac Centre. The guide price for the property is €55 million.
As part of this sale, there is an existing licence with Zara which has traded on the site since 2003. It currently occupies about 1,858 sq m at ground and second floor level with additional storage on the third floor.
The building in Cork is described as having a “very impressive facade with its feature copper dome which is iconic in the city”. It has almost 45m of frontage on to Cork’s “premier shopping street”. In addition, there is return frontage of almost 121m to Maylor Street.
The property itself originally dates back to 1922 and was redeveloped to a more modern specification in the late 1990s.
It extends to almost 14,214 sq m, primarily comprising retail, ancillary stores, staff accommodation and plant rooms. The overall site extends to about 0.5 hectares.
Cushman & Wakefield said the rear portion of the property may suit a hotel or further retail. It is guiding €20 million on the property.
HKR Architects has reviewed options for both properties and has designed two mixed use schemes, both of which provide for retail and residential usage.
Karl Stewart of Cushman & Wakefield, who is leading the process, said the two assets provide “a very rare opportunity to acquire substantial space on two of Ireland’s premier retail thoroughfares”.
“They will provide the successful purchaser with a myriad of options including redevelopment, leasing or repurposing,” he added.