Busi­ness

Irish Examiner - - Front Page - Tommy Barker Prop­erty Edi­tor

The build­ing that hosts Water­stones in Cork City cen­tre has gone on the mar­ket for €6.25m. It has just over five years left on a 35-year lease.

The build­ing that hosts Water­stones book­seller in Cork city cen­tre is for sale for €6.25m.

The in­vest­ment prop­erty is close to the €45m, new Capi­tol de­vel­op­ment, at the western end of St Patrick’s St, by the Grand Pa­rade in the city cen­tre. It has just over five years left to run on a 35-year lease, dat­ing from March 1988.

Num­ber 68-69 St Patrick’s St has gone to the open mar­ket at a time of re­ported bounce­back in print and books sales, and as Water­stones, ear­lier this year, re­ported a dou­bling in their Ir­ish prof­its, as well as re­cov­ery across the board in the UK, af­ter a 2011 res­cue plan un­der chief ex­ec­u­tive, James Daunt.

Prof­its rose to £9.8m (€10.9m) across its 250-plus stores, and Ir­ish prof­its rose to €1.9m for 2016, on rev­enues of €14.2m, with Mr Daunt say­ing their Ir­ish shops were “in a happy place”, with Cork do­ing “bril­liantly”.

Wa­ter stones, the early 1980s-es­tab­lished com­pany, con­trols Hodgis Fig­gis in Dublin and Water­stones Cork. It pays an an­nual rent of €770,000 for its Cork foot­print, ac­cord­ing to Brian Ed­wards, of CBRE’s new Cork of­fices, and that equates to a net ini­tial re­turn of 11.36%, af­ter stan­dard costs.

Water­stones oc­cu­pies 11,000 sq ft, with 6,300 sq ft at ground, and has dual ac­cess to pedes­tri­anised Paul Street and to St Patrick’s Street.

Ad­ja­cent oc­cu­piers in­clude Boots, McDon­alds, Ar­gos, Dealz, Søstrene Grene and Bank of Ire­land, with Life­style Sports and Home Sense across the street in the new Capi­tol.

Mr Ed­wards said book sales have in­creased in Ire­land and in the UK, in 2016, “and, in par­tic­u­lar, the rise of the printed book is part of a global shift.”

Pic­ture: Pat Good

Water­stones book­shop has over five years left on a 35-year lease at No 68&69, St Patrick St, Cork.

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