Sunday 17 December 2017

DIT denies purchase of €9m Dublin's North Circular Road office

DIT has dismissed speculation that it has acquired Park House
DIT has dismissed speculation that it has acquired Park House
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

The DIT has moved to dismiss suggestions that it 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.

Asked to comment on speculation that it was set to pay in the region of €9m to acquire theMcInerney-built property, a spokeswoman for the DIT said: "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.

While the Irish Independent understands that DIT staff working in at least one of the Institute's existing locations in Dublin city centre were briefed recently on the possibility of their being relocated to Park House, the DIT reiterated its position that it has not purchased the property.

The agent representing the building's current owners, a consortium of private Irish investors, declined 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 somewhat conservative as its current owners paid €6.25m to acquire it.

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