Re: * Updates *
🙂 For anyone who remembers my post following the sale of Wilton S.C. to Howard Holdings & Joe O’Donovan last year (for 110m euro!), you will probably recall how I mentioned the rumour that Roches Stores had consulted NMA about possibly revamping their department store at the centre – well, scratch that because I have got wind of even bigger plans a-foot, but at this point, I can’t confirm this 100% – as its still a little up in the air – but…
…a new SPV by Howard Holdings and Joe O’Donovan may be looking into redeveloping the Wilton S.C. as a whole. It follows that, the enormous sale price of the highly successful suburban retail centre is mostly accounted for the highly desirable and accessible location of the centre, plus its ample grounds (which allow for development). The rental income from the centre, though healthy, does not include that of Tesco or its new associated outlets (which Tesco remains in ownership of) and only somewhat satisfies the purchase price (and associated repayments). If Howard Holdings and JOD even spent 80m on redeveloping the centre, they could very well double, even triple their rental income with new spacious retail accommodation (which would be a very attractive opportunity for the backlog of national and international retaillers who would just lovely a decent sized bite of the S.C. consumer base). Currently, few retaillers are willing to settle for the small, cramped units available at the centre. The possible addition of a 2nd floor and extensions over the car-parks could provide up to between 150,000 to 200,000sq ft of additional retail space. Roches Stores would see its store redeveloped and vertically extended – which the company would then lease back for a ‘reasonable’ rate. Underground parking and over-ground parking facilities would also be accommodated, allowing for increased parking capacity. Sizeable units, as sought by the likes of Inditex, H&M and others may be provided on the upper floor. The facility would amount to what is perhaps, Cork’s largest shopping centre (in excess of 350,000sq ft) – but it may not even go that large. It would provide a western balance to Mahon Point – a few kilometres east along the South Ring nearby. Oh, and I don’t know that this has been looked into, or that it continues to be looked into 😉 . So, if you’re asking why 110m euros was paid for the centre – think this, location and expansion opportunities – Wilton has got grade excellent on both. One of Ireland’s oldest S.C. could become one of its biggest. It would also go well with Howard’s current expansion hunger. Furthermore, when you pay big in property, sometimes, to justify your costs, you have to go bigger again for greater returns. OCP may not rule retail supreme for long. 😎
🙂 2 highly desirable property locations have come on the market in Cork city (as mentioned they would be way back when) – CBRE Gunne are handling the sale of 2 prominent Esso Stations (as part of a property reorganisation strategy) at Muskerry Service Station (Wester Road) and Bishopstown – both operated by the same owners. Though both locations offer MASSIVE potential for redevelopment – the Muskerry Station is particularly attractive as it is within 5 mins walk of Patrick’s Street, adjacent to both UCC and the new Jurys Hotel redevelopment. The .7 acre site is sure to see some high bids but offers major residential, commercial, medical or office development potential. Probably one of the best development opportunities to come on the public market in Cork in years.