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French fund Sofidy pays more than €34m for Independent House

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Quality: Mediahuis is undertaking a €4m upgrade of its offices

Quality: Mediahuis is undertaking a €4m upgrade of its offices

Quality: Mediahuis is undertaking a €4m upgrade of its offices

French investor Sofidy has purchased Independent House, the offices of this newspaper, for more than €34m from an investment vehicle led by developer Joe O’Reilly of Chartered Land.

Sofidy has bought a number of Dublin investments since July 2021.

In March of this year it bought Fleming Court a multi-let office block near Mespil Road, Dublin 4, for €17.75m. It also bought the landmark Fitzwilliam Hall office building overlooking Leeson Street Bridge in Dublin 2 for €30.35m.

Last year it purchased 76-78 Harcourt Street, occupied by the OPW, from Henderson Park. That property had been offered with a €21m guide price.

The French company currently manages more than €7.6bn in assets and is wholly owned by Tikehau Capital.

Knight Frank, selling agents for Independent House, had set a €34m guide for the property in February this year, which was €5m more than the €29m that had been sought two years earlier in March 2020. In the meantime, the vendor secured a rent increase of almost €160,000 a year as well as a new lease with Mediahuis Ireland Limited, owner of this newspaper. The value of the property was also boosted by extending the lease to 2032 and including inflation-linked rent increases.

That March 2020 market launch was disrupted by Covid-19 but it allowed the landlords, who included European investors, to enhance the value of the property.

Mediahuis is also undertaking a €4m upgrade of its offices that will significantly enhance the quality of its accommodation.

While Ross Fogarty of Knight Frank pointed out that the investment had been transformed, the increased price also underlines the demand for Irish investment property.

Located between the IFSC, Connolly Station and Busáras to the east and O’Connell and Henry streets to the west, Independent House extends to 5,123.69 sqm over four floors and comes with a basement car park with 26 spaces. Its office space extends to 4,173.03 sqm.

A SuperValu retail store occupies 896 sqm on the ground floor on a 25-year lease from December 2004. Kane McCartney group operates this store and other SuperValu stores at Donabate, Killester and Raheny.

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