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Case Study

Sale of Glass Bottle Site

​​The sale of the 10-hectare (25-acre) Irish Glass Bottle site – acknowledged as one of the biggest land transactions ever recorded in Ireland – generated huge media coverage as well as a great deal of public comment.

The achievement of the almost record-breaking €412 million sale price would not have been possible had it not been for the Jones Lang LaSalle team’s significant time investment in devising a range of innovative strategies aimed at maximising value on what was quite a complex site.

Among a range of complications was the fact that this Ringsend Dublin property was held under a long lease from Dublin Port. This meant that a number of intricate legal issues would have to be resolved before any firm development plans could be drawn up. A further complication was the fact that although the property was located in an area eminently suited for mixed-use development, it was zoned for industrial and manufacturing use only.

Meanwhile, the period 2000 to 2006 was characterised by an unprecedented economic boom. Simultaneously, the ongoing regeneration of the Dublin Docklands area further ensured that land values in the nearby South Docklands and Sandymount areas continued to rise. 

In October 2000, our client South Wharf plc put together a multi-disciplinary team comprising lawyers, town planners, architects, tax advisors and members of the Jones Lang LaSalle team. Our brief was to advise on, and resolve, various legal and planning-related issues to enhance value. 

Between 2000 and 2005, we met regularly with the client to provide strategic advice on a range of issues. We also produced a masterplan which took into consideration issues such as likely end-user demand, known requirements, likely competition, future demand drivers and the anticipated development programme. We also suggested ways in which the site could be re-branded – shifting the focus of attention away from the Dublin Port area and re-focusing it on the Sandymount area where more expensive property prices prevailed. 

In June 2006 we brokered an agreement whereby Dublin Port and South Wharf plc would have a joint interest in the public tender documents presented to the market. A few weeks later we spearheaded an international marketing campaign for the joint owners. This culminated in the receipt of tenders in October 2006, with the sale finally closing in January 2007, after Stock Exchange approval was received.

The Jones Lang LaSalle team showed remarkable prescience in their advice to wait until such time as a suitable exit strategy could be implemented, and to market the property after, rather than before, the land value of the site was enhanced. The decision to exit at the top of the market was well and truly vindicated. Just a few months after the sale, development land values declined dramatically due to a combination of a slowdown in the Irish residential market and the international credit crunch.

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