Monday 23 October 2017

Gardai investigating new office options after regional HQ sold

Garda headquarters in Harcourt Square.
Garda headquarters in Harcourt Square.
Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

The Garda Siochana are seeking a new regional headquarters in Dublin after Hibernia REIT bought its current HQ for €70m.

The real estate investment trust has agreed terms to take over the Garda offices at Harcourt Square in the centre of the capital.

The deal sees Hibernia take over the 1.9-acre site and will likely try to redevelop the property, which has office space of around 116,000 sq ft. It is believed Hibernia will seek to more than double the amount of office space to between 250,000 and 300,000 sq ft.

The Gardai currently occupy the four buildings at the location on leases that expire between 2014 and 2016. The OPW pays a passing rent of €4.9m per annum. The lease on Block 1 expired in 2014 and the leases on Blocks 2 to 4 expire during 2016. A short-term lease is being negotiated but the OPW is now scouting for a new location for the Garda offices, however.

Hibernia chief executive Kevin Nowlan said he was "delighted with this off-market acquisition which gives us substantial near term income and exciting redevelopment opportunities in the traditional office core of Dublin".

"We expect to submit a planning application shortly and look forward to working closely with Dublin City Council to deliver attractive new Grade A office space in the city centre in future," he added.

This is Hibernia's first major deal since it secured finance worth €286m for new acquisitions. So far it has invested around €506m, with another €43m committed.

Hibernia bought the property from Gangkhar Ltd - a vehicle controlled by private equity firm Starwood Capital which bought the property as part of the Project Aspen portfolio two years ago.

The portfolio was tied to developer David Courtney.

Irish Independent

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