Penneys in deal with NAMA for office block once owned by Carroll
High-street fashion retailer Penneys yesterday confirmed it has bought a Dublin office block formerly owned by developer Liam Carroll from the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).
Chapel House on Parnell Street had an estimated price tag of €25m.
The premises is already used by Penneys, with one of its flagship outlets trading from the location.
The retailer, which is owned by UK-based Associated British Foods (ABF) and which trades as Primark in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, also occupies office space at the building from where it manages its international buying.
Penneys employs 300 people between offices at Mary Street and Chapel House.
It said that Chapel House would become the international headquarters for the Penneys/Primark business, which ABF had been rapidly expanding over the past couple of years.
ABF is controlled by the Weston family, which also owns Brown Thomas and Selfridges.
A number of tenants have occupied the premises over the past six years, including Bank of Scotland-owned Halifax. It had spent €2m outfitting its office there. The bank exited the Irish market last year.
Mr Carroll also used the location as the registered address for a number of his companies, including Danninger and Zoe Developments, while the building was owned by his Astranna entity.
About €1.7bn worth of his loans were transferred to NAMA last year.
The sale of the six-storey office block -- which was done through receiver Ken Fennell of Kavanagh Fennell -- marks the second high-profile disposal by NAMA in Dublin in recent months. Earlier this year, it offloaded the new landmark 15-storey Montevetro building on Barrow Street to internet giant Google for €100m.
NAMA had acquired the property as security for a loan that had been given to Real Estate Opportunities, a unit of Treasury Holdings. NAMA provided funding so the building could be completed.
Since March last year, NAMA has sold €3.3bn worth of property, the majority of it in Britain.