Plans for 400 build-to-rent units in Dublin

Ian Brennan

Fitzwilliam Real Estate Capital (FREC) is looking to introduce 400 new build-to-rent units to the rental market, a source familiar to the company’s plans has said.

Build-to-rent is a model where properties are purposefully built for long-term renters while being managed by professional landlords. This model has become increasingly popular in Dublin.

The company, owned by solicitor and developer Noel Smyth, intend to build on four separate sites across Dublin City. Two sites in Sandyford, one in Glasnevin and one in Dún Laoghaire are already owned by the group.

It is understood that forward funding will be FREC’s approach to any development, meaning they will seek to fully book out a site before beginning any building of the properties.

A source has said that current conditions within the renting market mean it is better for FREC to deal with institutional investors like large organisations and anyone else who pool funds into purchasing assets.

The rise in popularity of build-to-rent homes comes down to a change in the planning guidelines that means that buildings can be higher up and with fewer windows as well.

Smyth’s FREC has secured planning permission for their site on Murphystown Road in Sandyford, but are still seeking planning permission to build on their other three sites in Dublin.

They do have residential sites which were built in the late 2000s in Saintfield in Co. Down and in Antrim town.

The company are simultaneously developing two hotels on Middle Abbey Street in Dublin City Centre, with one situated at the junction with Liffey Street and the other at 97 Middle Abbey Street, which will extend above the Arnotts car park.

FREC’s development plans for Dublin City Centre do not end at hotels, however, as they also own three units opposite the Ilac Centre on Henry Street which will be a developed retail unit.

FREC lists the aforementioned Arnotts Car Park as a commercial real estate property they developed on their website as well.

Their resume of developments also includes two properties side by side on Fitzwilliam Square on the south side, which are let to Atlantic Bridge and Future Analytics.

Ian Brennan

Image Credit: Alison Clair