Buyer expects the former Roches and Debenhams buildings in Cork in the coming months

Strong and comprehensive developer and investor/developer interest is showing at Debenhams’ former Cork residence on St Patrick’s Street which is on the market for €20 million, say agents Cushman & Wakefield, as they have also brought in the illustrious Douglas order The Village Shopping Center puts the market in this The week with a price index of 21 million euros.

Cushman & Wakefield Cork MD Peter O’Flynn confirms that “there is a strong determination to seal a deal in Debenhams this year”, confirming broader feedback to the property market that the location of the 1.4-acre property, the iconic Roches Stores building, is getting more and more active inquiries from developers local and national, as well as investment interests.

One of the main retailers in the city’s premier retail sector, it came to market this summer alongside Debenhams, Henry Street in Dublin, for a total of €75 million, and since then, there has been interest in it separately, as well as from some investors/developers. Well supported all together.

The positive news comes in Cork that Dunnes is currently outfitting the ground floor of his vacant building adjacent to the Debenhams/Roches Building in Merchants Quay for the ‘big cart’ of the supermarket, having left it idle for several years after doing its flagship in its first historic store. For the Irish retail giant, on St. Patrick’s Street. Dunnes has a supermarket downstairs in its newer development, across the street, but it’s more convenient, while the multi-storey car park on Merchants Quay is a big bonus and the SuperValu actually serves there in the “old” Roches Stores supermarket spaces.

Interior design of the former Debenhams Building on St. Patrick Street.

The uses being put forward for the redevelopment of the Debenhams Building span across retail, entertainment and a range of accommodations, including apartments, hotels and even student housing on the back end/Mailor Street section, particularly if UCC continues its proposed downtown campus on South Terrace.

“Location is a challenge, but everything is doable and where to get anything like it back in the heart of downtown Cork,” says O’Flynn, saying there has already been a pivot shift along Carolyn Street and Oliver Plunkett Street that will raise the area Mylor Street between St. Patrick Street and Parnell Place.

Retail interest is in the subdivision of several “big box” units at the end of main St. Patrick Street, rather than one of the main occupiers, and more recreational interest for Maylor Street, where notable operators in the bar and restaurant sectors have been inquired.

Among those with potential interest might be Clarendon Properties who have nationwide ties to the Press Up Entertainment group that owns many bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and hotels (The Dean, etc.) and has good investor support, as well as the likes of the JCD group who She has implemented the Capitol Building, O’Callaghan Properties, and the O’Flynn Group who advise Penny on her St. Patrick’s Street expansion plans.

Meanwhile, while the massive St Patrick’s Street estate in the €20 million guidebook is a development play, the arrival of the Douglas Village Shopping Center on sale this week will impress investors and money as it’s fully developed, a suburban acre.

Holds ‘€21m surplus’ evidence (excluding VAT) with Peter O’Flynn of Cushman & Wakefield and Retail Director Carl Stewart, with current rental income of €2.4m of which 54% comes from large occupants and they have room to approximate that to €2.7 million if the remaining vacant units are leased out, increasing rents from €300,000 to €350,000.

The mall, built by Tesco (which has its own 90,000 square foot store) and M&S, with TK Maxx and Eurogiant, was completely redeveloped with up to 46 units in 2007, and a multi-storey 1,000-park-space vehicle on The Summit, first built in 1971 by Clayton Love Jnr, as Ireland’s second ever shopping mall after Stillorgan Shopping Center in Dublin.

Douglas Village Shopping Center for sale as an investment in 2022 with a price guide of €21 million cited by sales agents Cushman &  Wakefield
Douglas Village Shopping mall for sale as investment in 2022 with price guide of €21 million cited by sales agents Cushman & Wakefield

The car suffered a serious fire in 2019 after a car caught fire, causing damages amounting to 30 million euros and loss of commercial claims, but it was well insured and currently has cases in the Commercial Court against car manufacturers Opel.

It had to shut down to rebuild for over a year, and reopened again in late 2021 during the coronavirus pandemic that has hit traders there as well, but several deals are under negotiation with one that is legally advanced, understandably.

The fully renovated and secured centre, on six prime acres, is one of two in the heart of Cork’s affluent Douglas suburb, both developed by Clayton Love Jenner and later linked to Shipton Group. The Douglas Village Shopping Center celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, and the Love family has established major shopping centers in Wilton and Blackpool.

In a highly attractive €21 million, it provides an initial net return of 10.42%, allowing record acquisition costs of 9.96% of current income of €2.407 million, and Shipton Group sellers and financiers “in a position to provide debt on the terms of the proposed buyer”, according to For Cushman & Wakefield. The weighted average of an unexpired lease is seven years to break options (a number of small units with short-term leases) and 11 years to expiration.

Selling Agent Mr O’Flynn, anticipating good investor/fund interest, says “Douglas Village Shopping plays a strong part of the history of suburban malls in Ireland and was the first of its kind outside Dublin when it was originally developed by the Love family in the early the seventies”.

“It has played an important role in the ongoing expansion of the South Side of Cork City, and after redevelopment in 2007 with a recent refurbishment, it is in excellent condition throughout and will provide the new owners with a great opportunity to earn a return on the assets, with more financial returns to come.”

Meanwhile, also in Douglas, the East Douglas Village Development was sold as an investment this time last year for €11 million, a new leasehold for BiteSize Café.

Lisney rental agent Amanda Isherwood said that rent of about €15,000 per year for the first five years of a 15-year lease was secured for a 500-square-foot unit in Barry House (vacated under Douglas law) in a mixed-use/retail scheme and after the “fitting out” They opened their doors this week.”

It is the third Cork Café that BiteSize has opened in recent years, in business since 2005 in Midleton and also opened on Main Street, Ballincollig, in 2017.

“Having sold the investment over 12 months ago, we are pleased to see the development at 100% occupancy,” Ms Isherwood said.

Details: Cushman & Wakefield 021 4275454

Lesny-21 4275079