Appeal No. VA04/2/060
AN BINSE LUACHÁLA
Mr. Conor Nestor APPELLANT
RE: Shop at Lot No. 5A/Unit 2, Park, Grove Island Shopping
Centre, Abbey A, Abbey & Singland, County Limerick
B E F O R E
JUDGMENT OF THE VALUATION TRIBUNAL
By Notice of Appeal dated the 29th day of April, 2004, the appellant appealed against the determination of the Commissioner of Valuation in fixing a rateable valuation of €115.00 on the above described relevant property.
The Grounds of Appeal as set out in the Notice of Appeal are: "Similar sized retail property in the immediate vicinity has a rateable valuation of €76.00 (Michael John Hairdressers Corbally Centre, Limerick). The Grove Island Complex is not a shopping centre, offering basic services only to the surrounding area. The complex itself predominantly consists of residential properties, which are of no economic significance to our business. The development as a whole is currently grossly underdeveloped. The complex is not located in the City centre. The facility is located in a suburban area being a 20min. walk from the main shopping district of O'Connell Street. The facility serves the Corbally Community only. The floor area occupied by food production areas and toilet facilities for the public consists of approximately 35-40% of the total floor area of the Unit. We are aware of an existing similar type of business namely Quigley's in Cruises Street in Limerick, which is one of the busiest pedestrianised streets in the city with a floor area of approx 800 sq. feet, which per square foot has a cheaper valuation than the valuation suggested for my property. The amount of rates currently suggested represent an annual amount of €8,402.00 which equates to 26.25% of the annual rent. The proposed relief road with the Dublin Road is not anticipated to be completed before the end of 2006 and therefore there is no passing traffic. We are essentially located on a cul-de-sac."
At the oral hearing the appellant appeared on his own behalf and the respondent was represented by Mr. David Molony, BSc, MRICS, a district valuer in the Valuation Office.
The Grove Island Centre
The Grove Island Centre when completed will provide a wide range of activities including a supermarket, shopping parade, swimming pool, gymnasium, multi-purpose hall, student accommodation and apartments together with a multi-storey car park. The supermarket and shopping parade are located in a three-storey block with offices at first and second floor levels overhead.
The Property Concerned
The property concerned is occupied under a 25-year lease from May 2003 at an initial yearly rate of €32,000. The lease provides for rent reviews at five-yearly intervals. The area of the property concerned is 93.96 sq. metres.
Mr. Nestor, the appellant, having taken the oath adopted his written précis which had previously been received by the Tribunal as being his evidence-in-chief.
In evidence Mr. Nestor said that the shopping parade at Grove Island
suffered from a number of drawbacks which had a detrimental effect on
its trading potential including:
Mr. Nestor said that the occupiers of the parade are mainly service providers rather than retailers in the accepted sense of the word. The nature of his business is such that it relies upon the custom of patrons of the other shop units in the parade and the occupiers of the office accommodation. Mr. Nestor said that most of the office accommodation was still vacant and occupiers of the student accommodation and apartments tended not to be customers.
Mr. Nestor said that there was no comparable shopping parade in Limerick and in no circumstances could the Grove Island Centre be compared to the Parkway shopping centre. Parkway, he said, was a large enclosed centre with Dunnes Stores as the anchor tenant.
The Respondent's Evidence
In evidence Mr. Molony contended for a rateable valuation of €115
calculated as set out below:
Estimated NAV = € 18, 613.48
In support of his opinion of rateable value Mr. Molony introduced three comparisons details of which are set out in the Appendix attached to this judgment.
Two of Mr. Molony's comparisons are in the same parade as the property concerned whilst the other is in the Parkway shopping centre.
In evidence Mr. Molony agreed with many of the issues raised by the appellant and said that he had taken all of the listed drawbacks into account when arriving at an opinion of Net Annual Value including the fact that the link road was not completed and the unfinished state of the Grove Island development.
Under examination Mr. Molony said he had looked at the established levels
of value elsewhere in Limerick and in particular the level at the Parkway
Shopping Centre. As a result of this examination he came to the conclusion
that a downward adjustment of between 20% and 25 % to the Parkway level
was appropriate in order to reflect the relative merits of the two centres.
Mr. Molony said he did not compare the prevailing rental levels in Parkway
against those established in the Grove Island development.
And the Tribunal so determines.