L-R: Jim Hegarty, Trish Jukes, Ross Craigie, Suzie Nolan (Friends First) & Frank Lynch

Following a recent presentation on the Friends First Irish Commercial Property Fund, by Fund Manager Suzie Nolan, Hegarty Financial Management continues to support their Irish Commercial Property Fund.

During the presentation, Suzie gave us an update on the Fund which we thought may be of interest to those already invested in the fund and of course, those who may be considering investing.

“Q3 2018 has been a very busy period for the Irish Commercial Property Fund, both in terms of acquisitions, lettings and redevelopment projects.

In terms of acquisitions, we have exchanged on City Point in Galway, a mixed use property on the northern edge of Eyre Square.  The property will yield c.6% for the Fund and the relatively short unexpired lease term will present value add opportunities going forward.  The property comprises office, retail and residential space, as follows:

  • Retail space extending to 4,302 sq. metres (46,306 sq. ft) on the ground, first and part basement levels, let to TK Maxx and Galway Health & Fitness;
  • Office space extending to 2,139 sq. metres (23,024 sq. ft) on the second and part of the third floor levels, let to Mathworks and two software companies; and
  • 17 apartments set out over part of the third floor and the entire fourth & fifth floors, let on a corporate lease to a local hotel operator.

In addition, we acquired an industrial property in Magna Business Park, Citywest, Dublin 24.  The property is 33,500 sq ft and is fully let to Actavo, on a new lease, with 8 years term certain, and at a yield of c.6.3%.

Regarding new lettings, we have had great success with the second floor of Cairn House (the office building in South County Business Park, Leopardstown that we acquired in December 2017).  Following a light refurbishment project in February/March, this space was put on the market to let, and a tenant (an international IT security company) was sourced in less than two months.  This lease became effective in July.  As a result of the new lease, and a rent review with the existing tenant in the remaining space, the capital value went up by an impressive 12.5%.

In addition, following a persistent marketing drive, there is an increase in interest for the available space in Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4.  We expect to have a couple of new leases signed there in the coming weeks.

Finally, the redevelopment projects are progressing at pace.  Royal Hibernian Way retail mall is on track for completion by the end of the year.  The anchor restaurant unit was handed over to Paddy McKillen Jnr’s Press Up Group a few weeks back and they are working on their fit-out.  They expect to open the new restaurant, Isabelle’s, by early October.  The upgrade of the common areas of the mall is underway, and the redevelopment and letting of the second new restaurant unit is also progressing well.

The Blackrock redevelopment is really starting to take shape.  Enterprise House (the old Zurich building) has been fully demolished, with foundations poured and cores almost complete. There is further positive news on Enterprise House, whereby following a planning application earlier this year, we have now received permission to build an additional 4,500 sqft to the rear of the new building.  Zurich signed a pre-lease on this space in August.  The refurbishment of Trident House is well underway and there is strong appetite from potential tenants.  The final piece of the Blackrock jigsaw is the shopping centre. The upgrade project is due to commence in the coming weeks and it is expected to be a 12 month schedule of works.

We also have a team onsite at Kilkenny Retail Park where we are constructing a coffee pod unit, which is pre-let to Costa Coffee.  This is the same strategy that we implemented at the Globe Retail Park in Naas, which has proved very beneficial for the park, increasing footfall by c.10%.”

As detailed above, Friends First provide us with transparancy and trust, which are hugely important to us at Hegarty Financial Management. The Friends First Property Team provides us with a uniquely high level of quality communication and information which we can relay back to you, our clients.

Investors should remember that the value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up. Investors may not recover what they invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Should you require any further information with regards to the Friends First Property Fund, please contact our office on 01 4972544 or alternatively you can e-mail