Irish

Thursday 21 August 2014

U2 studio site sold to Hibernia REIT in €27.6m deal

Peter Flanagan Commercial Property Editor

Published 30/05/2014 | 02:30

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U2 at the 2014 Academy Awards in LA. Photo: Michael Buckner
U2 at the 2014 Academy Awards in LA. Photo: Michael Buckner
U2’s former studio in Dublin has been sold as part of the deal.

AN Irish property firm has bought the site of U2's former studio along with an adjoining office block for nearly €30m.

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Hibernia REIT, which only began trading before Christmas, said it had agreed terms to buy the one-acre site on Windmill Lane for €7.5m and the loans held against an adjacent office block for an additional €20.16m.

In a stock exchange announcement, Hibernia said the site has existing planning permission for a mixed-use development of 125,000 sqft net lettable of offices, 9,000 sqft of retail space and 15 residential units.

Hibernia has granted a 12-month option to another party, believed to be US private equity firm Starwod Capital, to invest on a side-by-side, equal cost basis in the combined redevelopment of the Hanover Building and the site.

If exercised, Hibernia will act as the asset manager and development manager.

The site held U2's studios at Windmill Lane but they were taken over by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority a decade ago.

As part of that deal, U2 was to get a studio in the planned 'U2 Tower' on Britain Quay. That has yet to be built, however.

Meanwhile, the company has forked out €20.16m for the loans held against the Hanover Building on Windmill Lane, which backs on to the site.

That five-storey office block comprises 44,317 sqft of office space on the upper floors, 11,614 sqft of ground floor retail space, along with 13 underground parking spaces.

The offices are occupied by BNY Financial Services under three leases running to 2026 and 2027, with tenant options to break in 2016.

This is Hibernia's seventh deal since it listed last December. It has now spent more than €250m on Irish property, mostly in Dublin.

Irish Independent

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