Limerick’s commercial property sector sees increase

Anne Sheridan


Anne Sheridan

Tom Crosse of GVM Auctioneers: 'a lot of interest in properties around the university'
THE FORMER Esso station in Castletroy has been bought for in the region of €800,000, while the Hurlers pub nearby has changed hands for some €500,000.

THE FORMER Esso station in Castletroy has been bought for in the region of €800,000, while the Hurlers pub nearby has changed hands for some €500,000.

The Hurlers will be maintained as a pub, while the new owners of the derelict petrol station, on a site of less than half an acre, plan to reinstate it as a filling station.

GVM auctioneers handled the sale of the two properties in recent weeks, and property agent Tom Crosse said there is currently “a lot of interest in properties around the university”.

It follows another acquisition in Castletroy in recent months, that of Tom Chawke’s petrol station by Maxol for some €6m. For the year ending March 2014, Tom Chawke Trading had a turnover of €14.5 million, with €8.4m coming from petrol sales.

“Maxol expects competition in the Irish oil business to become increasingly vigorous and is keenly aware that two of its key competitors have recently engaged in apparently successful financial restructuring and are now also aggressively seeking growth opportunities, including in the Mid-West/Limerick region,” the company stated in acquisition documents seen by the Limerick Leader.

Maxol also noted that one of its competitors, Inver, has announced its intention to open a large new filling station, at The Hurlers, by 2017.

Inver Energy, the company which owns and operates the oil terminal in Foynes, is also behind plans to open two other petrol stations in the city, near Punches Cross and on Mulgrave Street.

The Castletroy Shopping Centre is also up for sale for €2.2m, while there are a number of developments afoot in the commercial property business in the city.

There is also significant interest in a number of local pubs/restaurants which are on the market.

The Brazen Head on O’Connell Street is up for €550,000 and, according to Gordon Kearney of Rooney Auctioneers, a number of potential buyers who have expressed interest in the premises to date.

Mr Kearney also revealed that well-known rugby pub JJ Bowles has been sold. The Thomondgate hostelry - long a popular stopping off point with rugby fans heading to and from Thomond Park - is understood to have changed hands for the asking price of €275,000.

Meanwhile, the company behind House Dublin, a well-known bar and restaurant on the capital’s Leeson Street, is understood to be taking over Peter Clohessy’s bar on Howley’s Quay. The deal is likely to see the premises reopen as a bar/restaurant for the first time since it closed 12 months ago.

With demand growing for high quality retail space in the city centre, a number of prospective tenants are also eyeing up the third-storey former Pamela Scott’s outlet at the corner of Bedford Row.