Round Hill Capital and QuadReal complete deal to acquire €123.5m Dublin PRS scheme

Round Hill Capital have announced that its joint venture with QuadReal, has forward purchased Blackwood Square, a major new PRS development in Dublin for €123.5m.

When complete the build-to-rent scheme will provide 297 high quality apartments. Construction will start on Blackwood Square later this month with Round Hill Capital (RHC) providing development management oversight. The first phase of the development is set to complete in October 2021, with the final phase in October 2022.

Blackwood Square is located in Northwood, North Dublin, and benefits from excellent transport links being within easy reach of the City Centre and Dublin International Airport. It is a one-minute walk from Santry Demesne park and is adjacent to Gulliver’s Retail Park. Blackwood Square’s 297 apartments will cover 286,112 sq ft in total and will be spread across four buildings. This is the second investment RHC has made with QuadReal in Ireland, following the JV’s purchase of Bridgefield in 2018, another 216 apartment PRS scheme that is opposite Blackwood Square. The Cosgrave Property Group are the developers for both Blackwood Square and Bridgefield.

Blackwood Square will provide much-needed new accommodation into an undersupplied Dublin housing market. Dublin has become a hub for multinational companies with the likes of Google and Facebook having offices in the city, supporting economic growth and pushing up demand for well-located accommodation.

Michael Bickford, Founder and CEO at Round Hill Capital, said: “We are delighted to complete another significant deal in Ireland, demonstrating the appetite of institutional investors for European and US accommodation. QuadReal is a great partner who shares Round Hill’s long-term investment strategy of investing in quality rental housing in Europe. We are committed to providing tenants with attractive accommodation they can call home.”

“Rental housing has proven resilient throughout market cycles and is already being shown to be a defensive real estate sector amid the uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, our pipeline across Europe and the US is strong, because investors recognise our 18-year track record of successfully investing in, developing and operating residential assets across Europe and the US.”

RHC also says its investors are increasingly seeing the benefits of the application of innovative technology in an otherwise low yield environment. At Blackwood Square, RHC is deploying the latest PropTech AI tools to maximise site efficiencies and long-term sustainability. When Blackwood Square is ready for occupation, RHC expects to leverage other digital investments made by sister company Round Hill Ventures. These include apps such as Plentific, which help landlords manage repair and maintenance, and alongside other tools will help attract and engage tenants supporting consistent long-term yield.

Designed by McCrossan O’Rourke Manning Architects, Blackwood Square’s residents will benefit from spacious modern apartments within a unique courtyard garden setting. They will also enjoy an array of onsite amenities including a concierge, gym, creche, a multi-function area, bike storage and 297 parking spaces.

John Vaudin, Managing Director at Round Hill Capital (Ireland), said: “Blackwood Square will provide hundreds of new homes for Dublin, at a time when high quality modern accommodation is in short supply in the city. Ireland’s economy has transformed itself to focus on high skill sectors, boosting employment and sustained GDP growth and housing supply continues to lag behind the diverse needs of the local rental market, particularly in Dublin. We look forward to helping address this with Blackwood Square.

“This is our second PRS investment in the Santry area of North Dublin, where we have found strong demand for our existing development at Bridgefield. Blackwood Square will be a well-located purpose-built scheme with great transport links and an abundance of parkland, shops, and other leisure amenities on its doorstep. The investment marks another step in Round Hill’s plan to create a long-term PRS and student accommodation portfolio in Ireland.”

Jay Kwan, Managing Director, Head of Europe at QuadReal, said: “We’re excited to be expanding our relationship with Round Hill with this second investment together in Dublin.  It’s important for QuadReal to not only make attractive investments behind a high conviction strategy, but to also provide high quality, professionally managed and institutionally owned housing for Dublin residents.”

The final phase of Blackwood Square is set to complete in October 2022.