Comer Ballsbridge scheme sets new rental high in capital
The residential element of Number One Ballsbridge is almost complete and, comprising 88 top-end apartments, it is about to set a new record for the highest ever rent levels in the capital. Monthly rents on the first to seventh floors start at ¤3,850 for the smallest 96 sq m (1,033 sq ft) units, however most two-beds are significantly larger and range in size up to 140 sq m (1,505 sq ft) and will therefore command higher rents.
These rates outstrip Kennedy Wilson’s new Capital Dock residential scheme in Dublin’s south docklands which set a new benchmark last week for apartment rents in the city when its two-bed units were advertised seeking ¤3,300 a month.
Number One is located on the controversial former veterinary college site purchased more than five years ago by the Comer Group and the Mayo-based McHale brothers for a reported ¤22.5 million, some 87 per cent less than the ¤171.5 million paid by Kintene, a company linked to developer Ray Grehan, during the boom.
Three bed units will start from ¤5,500 per month, the smallest being 155 sq m (1,670 sq ft) with the largest extend- ing to 177 sq m (1,905 sq ft). Prices increase for penthouses on the eight and ninth floors, with two-beds starting from ¤5,000 per month with minimum sizes of 109 sq m (1,175 sq ft). Three bed penthouses, each 155 sq m (1,670 sq ft), start at ¤6,000 per month.
The development is also likely to set a new record for largest minimum unit sizes in a large-scale Dublin development, with its smallest two-bed apartment extending to 96 sq m (1,033 sq ft).
There are no one-beds in the development, and the average size of two- and three-bed apartments is 125 sq m (1,350 sq ft). The largest unit, a standout four-bed penthouse, extends to 223 sq m (2,400 sq ft), with a further 163 sq m (1,750 sq ft) private outdoor terrace. Known as The Galileo, the ninth-floor unit is available for rent at ¤4,750 per week, or about ¤20,600 per month.
The apartments come with 4,645 sq m (50,000 sq ft) of residents’ amenities including a spa, gym, swimming pool, business centre, orangery and expansive roof terrace, along with an on-site concierge.
It is interesting that the Comers have opted for a build-to-rent model at One Ballsbridge, in sharp contrast to Chartered Land’s build-to-sell strategy at neighbouring Lansdowne Place. Back in 2014, Luke Comer mused in an interview that it was conceivable that prices of ¤1,000 per sq ft could be achieved in the future in Ballsbridge.
His expectations became reality at ultra-luxe Lansdowne Place, with prices well exceeding the ¤1,000 per sq ft mark, but even with such prices now obtainable, the Comers have sought to rent the units.
The real question is whether they will hold the development as a long-term investment, or whether they will sell the entire development as a trophy investment, including the office, retail and residential elements, once they prove to investors that the rental market can absorb these 88 luxury units at record-high rent levels.
Such a sale would be a major vote of confidence in the burgeoning Irish PRS (private rented sector) market, given that capital values would likely have to average around ¤1.5 million per unit in order for it to be an attractive proposition for the Comers, compared to selling them individually.
Number One Ballsbridge is almost complete: Monthly rents on the first to seventh floors start at ¤3,850