German real estate investor Union Investment is making its debut in Ireland’s residential sector with the purchase of developer Ballymore’s 8th Lock development, at Royal Canal Park in Dublin. The acquisition, priced at around €200 million, is the first forward funding deal by an end investor in the Irish residential sector.
The move is an expression of investor confidence in both the quality of Ballymore’s development and the broader Dublin residential sector. “We are delighted to be able to realise this ambitious project with our partner Ballymore,” said Martin Schellein, Head of Investment Management Europe at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH. A number of factors made Ireland attractive for the private rented sector (PRS) market, he said: "Ireland has the youngest population in Europe and is experiencing strong demographic trends. Due to the continuous settlement of multinational corporations, there is a high demand for affordable housing, particularly in Dublin and there has been relatively little construction activity in recent years. On the other hand, the rental housing market will benefit from our professional management approach.”
Sean Mulryan, Chairman and Group CEO of Ballymore said, “We are committed to providing Union Investment with the high-quality development that attracted them to partner with Ballymore”. The 8th Lock development is the final phase of Ballymore’s Royal Canal Park regeneration, which occupies the former Ormond Printworks site, to the north west of Dublin city centre. Its five buildings, rising from four to 13 storeys, will provide around 31,000 square metres of net lettable space, around 28,000 square metres of which will be residential. The residential element will comprise 435 one and two bedroom furnished apartments, all for private rent, with the remaining space being earmarked for commercial use.
“We are delighted that Union Investment, one of the most experienced and respected real estate investment managers in Europe, has agreed to acquire 8th Lock,” said Mulryan. “From project conception through to delivery, Ballymore projects are renowned for best-in-class design and innovation.”
Construction of 8th Lock is set to begin once government Covid-19 guidelines allow, with completion being scheduled for between October 2023 and March 2025.
Union Investment was advised by CBRE, A&L Goodbody and PWC.