Tuesday 24 September 2019

DIT adds €9m Park House to Grangegorman campus

DIT has completed the purchase of Park House on Dublin’s North Circular Road
DIT has completed the purchase of Park House on Dublin’s North Circular Road
DIT Grangegorman
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

The Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) has acquired Park House on Dublin's North Circular Road with a view to incorporating the 1970s office block into the development of its new €500m campus at Grangegorman.

The purchase of the property was confirmed by DIT president Brian Norton in an email sent to all DIT employees last Monday.

"I am delighted to confirm that DIT has just finalised the purchase of a significant building on the North Circular Road at Hanlon's Corner - right beside the [new Grangegorman] campus. Park House is a six-storey building with ample room for our current needs," professor Norton wrote.

The DIT president added that staff currently based at DIT's facility on Lower Rathmines Road will be the first to relocate to the new building, with the move taking place in the first quarter of 2018. Commenting on the move, professor Norton said it "will be an exciting transition and a further step towards consolidating all of DIT on our new campus".

While the price being paid by the DIT for Park House remains unclear, the figure is said by sources familiar with the matter to be in the region of €9m.

When the Irish Independent first reported on DIT's interest in acquiring Park House last February, a spokeswoman for DIT dismissed that speculation, saying: "DIT has a large existing property portfolio spread across Dublin City and now as we prepare to consolidate on one campus at Grangegorman the DIT name has become associated with many properties coming on the market and under development in the Dublin 7 area, in particular in relation to student accommodation.

"At the moment our primary focus is on the development of the campus itself and on the development of the site we purchased at Broombridge close by in Cabra, which will provide additional sports facilities to meet our needs. We have not made any other acquisitions in the area," the spokeswoman added.

The agent representing the building's current owners, a consortium of private Irish investors, declined at the time to make any comment when asked if his clients had disposed of, or intended to dispose of the property.

Originally developed as a hotel by the McInerney family in 1972, Park House was subsequently redeveloped as offices. Since then, it has been occupied by a series of high-profile State and private-sector tenants, including the Department of Justice, Special Olympics Ireland, the Northern Area Health Board and the Mirror Group of newspapers.

In 2013, the building, which extends to 10,501 sq m (113,034 sq ft) and its adjoining property, the 171 sq m (1,850 sq ft) Kirwan House, were brought to the market by DTZ Sherry FitzGerald (now Cushman & Wakefield) on the instructions of receivers Kieran Wallace and Louise Ryan of KPMG, with an asking price in the region of €7.5m.

Having failed to sell then, the property was put up for auction by Allsop in May 2014 with a guide price of €5.5m to €6m. That pricing proved to be conservative as its owners paid €6.25m to acquire it.

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