Kennedy Wilson wants to add 3,000 units to its Ir­ish rental port­fo­lio

Real es­tate group will buy de­vel­op­ment sites to reach goal of 5,000 homes to rent

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS NEWS - CIARÁN HAN­COCK Busi­ness Ed­i­tor

This in­dus­try [pro­fes­sional in­vestors] is very much at its very early stage of de­vel­op­ment [in Ire­land] – Peter Collins

Real es­tate group Kennedy Wilson Europe (KWE) wants to more than dou­ble the num­ber of res­i­den­tial units it has avail­able for let in Ire­land to about 5,000 in the next three to four years, its chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer said on Mon­day.

KWE cur­rently has 2,100 units in Ire­land either built or sub­ject to plan­ning per­mis­sion for con­struc­tion.

Speak­ing to the me­dia at the launch of phase two of its Clancy Quay res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment near the Phoenix Park in Dublin, KWE’s Peter Collins said: “We would have am­bi­tions to sig­nif­i­cantly grow that, mostly through build­ing units. I’d be dis­ap­pointed if we didn’t have 5,000 units in the medium term in Ire­land. That would be a log­i­cal next step.”

He said this would take “three to four years” to achieve.

“It ob­vi­ously takes a num­ber of years for con­struc­tion.”

Mr Collins said KWE would need to pur­chase sites to achieve its goal. “We would have to ac­quire to get the ad­di­tional 3,000, which is some­thing we’re ac­tively look­ing at. There are sites and we will look very closely at those over the next few years.”

He noted that there were about 300,000 pri­vate res­i­den­tial units in the State at present, with KWE cur­rently ac­count­ing for less than 1 per cent of that stock. “This in­dus­try [pro­fes­sional in­vestors] is very much at its very early stage of de­vel­op­ment [in Ire­land].”

KWE on yes­ter­day un­veiled the sec­ond phase of its de­vel­op­ment at Clancy Quay, a for­mer mil­i­tary bar­racks on 13 acres that was pre­vi­ously used by both the Bri­tish and Ir­ish armies. This lat­est phase of the scheme in­volved 163 new houses and apart­ments at an es­ti­mated cost of more than €55 mil­lion.

Th­ese add to the ex­ist­ing 423 ex­ist­ing units on the site, which are now al­most fully let, with prices rang­ing from €1,750 for a one-bed unit to more than €2,000 for two- or three-bed units, de­pend­ing on their spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

KWE has sub­mit­ted a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for a third phase at the site, com­pris­ing 259 units on 2.8 acres. If com­pleted, it would make Clancy Quay the largest rented res­i­den­tial scheme in Ire­land with 845 units by 2020.

Mr Collins said KWE has no plans to sell off any of its res­i­den­tial projects in Ire­land. “I think you’ll see us own­ing this [Clancy Quay] for a very long time,” he said.

The lat­est units at Clancy Quay com­prise both con­verted for­mer army bar­racks and new build­ings. All units fea­ture high-qual­ity in­te­rior de­sign fin­ishes, fit­ted kitchens and bal­conies or ter­races.

To date, KWE has spent more than €1 bil­lion on ac­qui­si­tions and some €500 mil­lion on de­vel­op­ing its sites.

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