A four storey property on one of the busiest retail streets in Cork City has been put up for sale by a private investor with a guide price of €1.8m.
No 109 Oliver Plunkett Street, where telecoms firm Vodafone has operated a retail store for more than 23 years, is being sold with its tenant in situ.
Vodafone’s 25-year lease on the building began on July 1, 1999 and expires on June 30, 2024.
Chris O’Callaghan and Isobel O’Regan of Savills, who are acting for the vendor, said they are “happy with the level of interest” which is mainly from private investors, “both local and national”.
The current owner of No 109 is a Cork-based investor.
The entire property is let to Vodafone and the ground floor is used for retail. Mr O’Callaghan said it could be adapted for other uses, subject to planning, such as a restaurant or cafe.
The first floor of the 330 sq m (3,554 sq ft property) includes a canteen, boardroom and staff facilities for Vodafone employees. The two top floors are operating as offices and there’s a mast on the roof too. Rent is €145,000 per year.
Mr O’Callaghan said the building has “an excellent profile” as it is within 50m of the main street and straddles both Winthrop Street and Oliver Plunkett Street. It’s also directly across from the GPO, which generates high footfall.
On the market as an investment property with a guide of €1.8m, investors can expect an initial yield (IY) of 7.36%, an RY of 6.09% and EY of 5.9%. The sale is understood not to be subject to VAT.
Mr O’Callaghan and Ms O’Regan are fresh from concluding a €2.6m deal with a Swiss investor who has bought the Holland and Barrett health store premises at 43/44 St Patrick Street (guide was €3m).
Savills are also looking after the sale/lease of other prominent retail outlets on St Patrick’s Street, including the former Quills premises at 106/107, vacant since 2014 and the former Dorothy Perkins/Evans store at No 101, vacant since 2019.
Quills, bought for c€2m by the owners of the adjacent Savoy, the Clarendon Group, in 2015, was given planning permission to expand into the Savoy mall in 2021 as it had secured a tenant who required a larger unit. However, that tenant fell through, and the larger unit, which absorbed a barber’s shop, juice shop and travel agents, is now up for lease for €300,000 pa.
Also up for lease with Savills is No 42 St Patrick’s Street (formerly newsagent/stationer Porter), at €90,000 per annum. The three overhead floors are also available to let.
A recent report from Lisney showed approximately one in five units on the city’s main street are vacant, the most high profile being the former Debenhams/Roches Stores flagship store, on sale with agents Cushman & Wakefield, on behalf of receivers Grant Thornton, for € 20 m. An out-of-town investor is believed to be among those in the running.
Supervalu, with a store in Merchant’s Quay, is also leaving the main street, after rivals Dunnes Stores opened a mini supermarket in adjoining premises in the shopping mall.
On a positive note, some new faces have arrived in St Patrick’s Street including outdoor leisure specialists, The North Face and British footwear retailer Dune, while bookseller/stationer Eason has relocated from its flagship store opposite the former Debenhams to the ground floor of the reconfigured former Victoria Hotel at No 36 St Patrick’s Street, next door to the Penneys/Primark building, which is due to undergo a multi-million euro expansion.
Back on Oliver Plunkett Street, the iconic Winthrop Arcade, owned by Limerick-born, UK-based developer Stephen D’Alton, has gone “Sale Agreed” with agents ERA Downey McCarthy.
It was put up for sale last November, with a guide price of €1.7m. The Arcade is close to the Vodafone Store on Winthrop Street.