Hines, the international real estate firm and partner APG Asset Management (APG) today marked the commencement of construction on the first new apartment buildings as part of the new Cherrywood Town Centre, at a special launch ceremony in South Dublin.

The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy T.D. was guest of honour at today’s announcement which will see 1,269 new apartments developed in Cherrywood Town Centre alone over the next 3 years, including 130 social units. Today also it was announced that the contract award for the initial blocks went to John Sisk & Son. This first phase of development is expected to see the immediate creation of 300 new construction jobs by Sisk. Approximately 3,000 construction jobs will be created over the lifetime of the Town Centre building project.

This coincides with agreement between Hines and APG for an additional investment to specifically target other new ‘build-to-rent’ development opportunities in Cherrywood and across Dublin city in the coming years. With a conservative level of debt funding, Hines and APG plan to invest an additional ca. €700m in growing this platform beyond the 1,269 units currently secured at Cherrywood to deliver approximately 3,000 units across the Greater Dublin Area, ultimately taking total capital invested to over €1.1 billion.

Welcoming all these developments, Brian Moran, Senior Managing Director with Hines’ Dublin office said “Today is a very important day for Hines in Ireland. We are expanding our investment platform with trusted partners APG just as our first major joint apartment project the new Town Centre at Cherrywood starts to take shape. Hines has spent the last 2 years putting in place the essential infrastructure for the Town Centre and wider project and we hope this will be the first of many building projects to get under way in the next few years at Cherrywood.

We are delighted to be working with John Sisk Construction, one of Ireland’s best-known construction companies to bring this innovative project to reality. We would also acknowledge the collaborative role played by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in getting us to this historic milestone. A vibrant new town for South Dublin will emerge from this greenfield site which over time will be home to almost 25,000 people. It is a huge privilege to embark on a project of such scale and Hines will deliver a world-class solution putting modern living, health and well-being at the very heart of this dynamic new community.” 

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council gave the go-ahead last May for the new 2.1 million sq. ft. development to be built at Cherrywood. The €1 billion mixed-use development will also include 585,000 sq. ft. of retail and office space as well as high-amenity leisure space. 

Speaking at the launch event, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy, T.D. said he was delighted to see Cherrywood coming on stream at a time of such critical demand for new housing supply in the capital: “The commencement of construction at Cherrywood SDZ is to be warmly welcomed as a very significant development. Cherrywood’s strategic development zone status allows for major projects of scale to be delivered within accelerated timeframes and as of today, it is officially the largest urban development in the State and in time will see approximately 8,000 new homes becoming available in the area.  

Development in the SDZ is being supported and accelerated through measures under Rebuilding Ireland and I am delighted to see the tangible progress being made which will have a major impact on supply in the area. From the very outset Hines Ireland has shown great commitment and vision in devising a very modern and progressive masterplan for the new Town Centre and its surrounds. The 1269 new apartments that will emerge from this first phase of development will deliver modern and sustainable housing for the new residents of Cherrywood for many years to come.

I would like also to commend Hines Ireland on having funded and built major infrastructure ahead of the main building project, including three new flagship parks, an all-weather multipurpose pitch, tennis and basketball courts and sports pavilion, 5.4 kilometres of roadways, pedestrian footpaths, cycle paths, greenways and over 3,000 trees. Today is an important milestone and the future residents of Cherrywood can look forward to living in a vibrant and sustainable community which has outstanding amenities and benefits from excellent connectivity to the wider city thanks to the presence of the Luas Green Line at 4 different stations within the Town.”

Gary Corrigan, Managing Director with Hines Real Estate Ireland Ltd said “Today’s launch at Cherrywood is the first tangible example of Hines’ commitment to co-invest alongside Dutch pension investor APG in new build-to-rent joint ventures across Dublin. It will fund both the land and the construction of 1,269 fully serviced build-to-rent apartments along with street level shops and cafes in the new Town Centre. But it is just the start – our new partnership framework aims to acquire and develop other projects and build out the joint venture into a substantial €1.1 billion private rental platform for Dublin as a whole. The greatest demand remains to be for apartments and Hines and APG have developed an excellent build-to rent model that can deliver a high quality, innovative design and a highly sustainable portfolio that will make a lasting contribution in addressing the ongoing housing challenges that currently exist in Dublin.”

Paul van Stiphout, Senior Portfolio Manager at APG Asset Management said “We continuously seek attractive real estate investments throughout Europe that help us realise stable and long-term returns for our pension fund clients and their participants. In a severely undersupplied market such as Dublin, we are pleased that our investment will help to address this unserved need in an even more meaningful way. Hines is a best-in-class global property developer and investor. Having them as our partner will deliver new apartment developments across Dublin that are high-quality, sustainable places to live, work and play. With the focus on build-to-rent housing, we remain committed to making Dublin a core, long-term holding in our global real estate portfolio.”

Cherrywood is a government-designated Strategic Development Zone project to build a new town in the borough of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown comprising over 7,700 new homes, six schools, three major parks and leisure facilities, supported by an existing light rail system and serving an eventual planned population of 25,000 people.