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Kennedy Wilson poised to buy last big Docklands site

US real estate firm Kennedy Wilson is in pole position to secure the purchase of one of the last remaining prime development sites in the Dublin Docklands and its strategic development zone (SDZ), the Irish Independent can reveal.

The Los Angeles-headquartered company is understood to have emerged as the preferred bidder for City Block 3 (CB3), a 5.91 acre site to the rear of the Central Bank's new headquarters at North Wall Quay.

The site was offered to the market in May, by joint agents Cushman & Wakefield and Savills on the instruction of David Carson of Nama-appointed receivers Deloitte, in three lots for a combined guide price of €110m.

Lot 1, which carried a price of €45m, has full planning permission for the development of 347 residential units on 1.44 hectares (3.55 acres).

At €65m, Lot 2 has a pending planning application for an office-led mixed-use scheme of 30,890 sq m (332,497 sq ft) distributed across a 0.95 hectare (2.35 acre) site.

Lot 3, meanwhile, incorporates the entire CB3 portfolio.

Kennedy Wilson's expected acquistion of the CB3 site will significantly increase its presence in the Dublin Docklands. Its most prominent asset in the area currently is its massive office scheme at the 4.8 acre Capital Dock campus on the south bank of the River Liffey.

Last December, the company completed the letting of all three of Capital Dock's office buildings when it signed up global recruitment group Indeed for the entirety of buildings 100 (112,219 sq ft) and 300 (99,174 sq ft) Capital Dock on a 20-year lease.

The deal with Indeed followed the announcement earlier last year of Kennedy Wilson's forward-funding sale agreement of the 130,000 sq ft 200 Capital Dock building to US investment bank JP Morgan.

While City Block 3 may be one of the few prime development sites left in the Dublin Docklands, it will still face competition from a number of other major projects now underway within the immediate area.

These include developer Johnny Ronan's one million square foot mixed-use scheme at nearby Spencer Place, Blackrock's Point Campus, Glenveagh's North Block, and the Exo Building at the Point Village.

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