Madison Int’l Gets Lucky in Ireland

Madison International Realty has acquired a stake in a prime retail asset in Dublin.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, DublinMadison International Realty has just acquired a stake in a prime retail asset in Dublin. The real estate private equity firm purchased a 35.4 percent interest in St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, a popular 230,000-square-foot retail destination, from Irish Life Assurance plc in a $66 million deal.

New York-based Madison is no stranger to Dublin—the firm opened a London office in 2010 to source opportunities in the U.K. and Irish markets—and had good reason for grabbing the opportunity to secure a stake in St. Stephen’s Green. “Dublin is a capital city. Urban retail is of keen interest and Dublin offers significantly recovered economics,” Ronald Dickerman, Madison founder and president, told Commercial Property Executive.

Sited in the prominent Grafton Street retail corridor, St. Stephen’s Green first opened its doors in 1988, featuring three levels of local and international retailers. And with a 1,200-space parking facility, the property boasts the largest car park in Dublin.

With Madison in the picture, St. Stephen’s Green now has three owners, with Irish Life maintaining a 37.6 percent stake in the property, and a private third-party investor holding the remaining 27 percent interest. Madison plans to team with Irish Life to add value to the asset via a repositioning effort. And it’s a good time for a makeover.

“With robust economic growth forecast for the next few years and further population growth expected over the medium-long term, the outlook for consumer spending is favorable. Retail leasing in Dublin has picked up significantly over the last year and vacancy continues to come down, fueled by the economic recovery,” Alex Lukesch, Madison director of European Investment, told CPE.

Madison facilitated the acquisition of the St. Stephen’s Green stake through Madison International Real Estate Liquidity Fund VI L.P., which launched in March 2015 with a target of $950 million.