Friday 16 November 2018

Amazon makes offer for Charlemont Street offices

An artist’s impression of the McGarrell Reilly Group’s mixed-use development on Charlemont Street
An artist’s impression of the McGarrell Reilly Group’s mixed-use development on Charlemont Street
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Amazon has made an offer to developer Sean Reilly to lease the entire 200,000 sq ft of office space currently being developed by the McGarrell Reilly Group as part of the Charlemont Street Regeneration Project in Dublin city centre.

The Irish Independent understands that agent JLL submitted an offer on behalf of the online retailer for the offices at Charlemont Square earlier this week. Should agreement be reached between the parties, it would pave the way for Amazon to increase its workforce in the capital significantly. The company already employs in excess of 1,400 workers in Dublin.

While both McGarrell Reilly and JLL declined to comment on the matter, news of the potential deal will provide a fillip for Dublin city, and for the wider economy, offering as it does a clear statement of Amazon's intent in relation to the future of its Irish operations.

Amazon's search for additional office space in the city follows on from its decision to lease the entire 172,000 sq ft of office space at the Vertium Building on Burlington Road. The US tech giant agreed to pre-let the property from U+I in 2016, prior to the property's completion by developer Johnny Ronan's Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE).

McGarrell Reilly's development of offices on Charlemont Street forms part of a wider €85m mixed-use scheme it is currently progressing as part of a partnership it entered into with Dublin City Council. Phase one of the project saw the delivery last September of 79 social housing units on the site along with a range of community facilities.

The next phase of the project will see 184 private residential units being completed, bringing the total number of new homes to 263. Work was commenced earlier this week on the basement works for the scheme's first six-storey office block. Construction of the building itself is scheduled to commence this November.

The McGarrell Reilly Group enjoyed another notable coup only recently when it secured WeWork, the world's biggest and most successful provider of flexible work space, as a tenant for its Iveagh Court development on nearby Harcourt Road.

The agreement represented WeWork's first foray into the Irish office market and sees it taking four floors at the building. The company is understood to have agreed a rent of €538 per sq m (€50 per sq ft) under a 25-year lease with a 15-year break option.

Extending to 5,109 sq m (55,000 sq ft), WeWork's newly-opened space at Iveagh Court has the capacity to accommodate in the region of 1,000 workers, or 'members' as WeWork refers to its tenants and those employed by them. Iveagh Court had, in the past served as an overflow facility for the Central Bank in the period leading up to its move to its new headquarters at North Wall Quay in the IFSC.

Quite apart from its developments on Harcourt Road and Charlemont Street, the McGarrell Reilly Group has also been involved in the delivery of the Sharp Building at Hogan Place near Dublin's Silicon Docks.

The company is estimated to have spent in the region of €20m to replace a Victorian-style office facility it developed on the same site a quarter of a century ago. The new building is a fully glazed fourth-generation block, boasting high-energy rating standards with LEED Gold and BER A3 ratings to minimise operational costs and its environmental impact.

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