Thursday 25 May 2017

Donnybrook office block with refurbishment opportunity guiding €7m

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

BNP Paribas Real Estate is seeking €7m for an office block in Donnybrook in Dublin 4.

Jefferson House is described as a "landmark five storey over basement office building".

The entire building has been held under a lease by Smurfit Services Limited (now Smurfit Kappa) since it was built in 1982. The property is understood to comprise some 1,800 sq m net internal area including two penthouse apartments and 21 car spaces.

The current lease is due to expire in May 2017 at a current passing rent of €552,336 per annum.

Smurfit Kappa has in turn sub-let the majority of the accommodation to third party occupiers on short term tenancy agreements.

The accommodation itself has good natural light, an efficient floor plate, generous floor to ceiling height and an excellent parking ratio, say the agents.

If Smurfit Kappa decides to vacate the premises in 2017 on lease expiry, BNP's Shane Duffy advised that the building provides an excellent refurbishment opportunity and is sure to generate significant interest from parties keen to take advantage of this unique regeneration opportunity.

Mr Duffy suggested that the strong market activity evident in nearby Ballsbridge, where some buildings are achieving rents in excess of €45 per sq ft, makes Donnybrook an appealing location for future development.

"One of the most endearing aspects of Jefferson House is the two penthouse apartments which offer uninterrupted views of the surrounding locality and the successful purchaser may consider retention of this feature on redevelopment," BNP said.

"Otherwise, the obvious refurbishment opportunity of the office accommodation with excellent appeal and profile "will be sure to whet the appetite of investors and developers keen to take advantage of the strong rental growth currently being experienced in the office market,"BNP Paribas Real Estate added.

The privately owned building is understood to have already generated good interest from the market up to now.

Offices which date from the 1970s and 80s have become quite valuable in recent years as the shortage of office space across Dublin becomes ever more acute. Development Securities bought Donnybrook House nearby earlier this year, while Hibernia REIT has focused on larger properties such as the 1970s biulding Cumberland House, which it is set to let out to Twitter.

That property was expected to be redeveloped but with Twitter moving in, there is now scope for a major refurbishment of the property which should see Twitter moving into the office block within the next 12 months.

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