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Isn’t it a “buyers market” at the moment for businesses renting property?

I watched with interest the recent Mexican standoff between the Carluccios restaurant and their landlords over the rental for their Dawson street premises.

The restaurant, successful as far as I can tell given their high prices yet regularly fully occupied tables, said that they couldn’t afford the rent (rumoured to be €1900 per day) any more. The landlords on the other hand, paid a fortune for a building at close to the top of the property boom and needed to recoup their investment.

When you think of the number of businesses that are complaining about the high cost of rent in Dublin, particularly in the Grafton Street area, it’s a wonder you don’t see more businesses bring their rent negotiations to such a “who blinks first” showdown.

I would have thought that this is more feasible these days given the array of empty properties available in the area. In fact, one could conclude that it’s actually a renters market at the moment given the selection of empty properties on offer at the moment on what is supposed to be Ireland premier shopping street.

That is of course unless, like many other Irish businesses, these property owners would rather not do business at all than be seen to be dropping their prices, even given the “current economic climate”.

Or maybe now that Carluccios have shown the way, other businesses will start to face up more to their landlords in rent negotiations?

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