Commercial sites in Limerick selling - but at an 80% loss

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

FRESH signs of life in Limerick’s commercial market have begun to appear, with the sale of two multi-million properties in recent weeks, and city auctioneers believe there are more promising deals waiting to be signed off for the city in the coming weeks.

FRESH signs of life in Limerick’s commercial market have begun to appear, with the sale of two multi-million properties in recent weeks, and city auctioneers believe there are more promising deals waiting to be signed off for the city in the coming weeks.

In the past week, the Carlton Castletroy Park Hotel has been sold for €3m - an 88% knockdown on its 2004 sale of €25m - and the city’s historic Jesuit Church at The Crescent has been sold for €700,000, less than one fifth of its €4m sale price in the boom period.

Auctioneer Pat Kearney, of Rooney’s, said there further developments in the pipeline, which will see some of Limerick’s best known and loved premises ready to be revived for the public.

Mr Kearney revealed that a sale is imminent for the Bank bar on O’Connell Street, which they have had a number of offers for and he expects the sale to be closed in the coming weeks.

Again, he said its price will also be significantly reduced. “It will be way, way down on what it was,” he added.

The bar had been up for sale for a modest reserve of €395,000 at a distressed property auction in April, but was withdrawn without explanation before the quickfire sale.

Bought for €2m more than a decade ago, it has been vacant for years after a receiver took control of the operating company.

The O’Connell Grill is now closed for extensive renovations, after laying idle for two years, and will be turned into “a beautiful, very upmarket restaurant” in the near future, he said.

A “strong proposal” has also been presented for the Sony Centre at 121 O’Connell Street, which could see another prime retail unit being occupied.

He added the legal documents are also due to be signed for the building at the corner of Thomas Street and Catherine Street.