International real estate firm Hines has confirmed the sale of Bishop's Square office complex in Dublin 2 to GLL Real Estate Partners. The price is believed to be close to the €180m quoted by agents CBRE, although this was not confirmed.
The deal will offer some reassurance to investors in Dublin's property market - not just because of the current uncertainty arising from Covid-19 but also because a previous offer for the Bishop's Square complex fell through.
South Korean real estate investment firm IGIS Asset Management had been selected as the preferred bidder for Bishop's Square but pulled out. This withdrawal was attributed by some to a cooling by South Korean investors towards European property. They had been outbidding European and other investors in the Irish market for a period up to the autumn of 2019.
However they lost their appetite due to a number of factors including challenges in the Korean economy as well as a more cautious approach by syndicate networks following over exposure to global serviced office operator WeWork.
GLL is an affiliate of the Australian investment bank Macquarie Group and the German life fund manager Patrizia. HWBC acted for GLL.
Hines had bought Bishop's Square in 2015 from US investment firm King Street Capital for €92.5m and subsequently undertook a revamp which added a new penthouse floor and extended the fourth and fifth floors. The redevelopment increased the floor area by 27,000 sq ft to over 180,000 sq ft over seven storeys.
The complex generates a combined rent roll of €7.9m, which on the basis of the guide prices would equate to a net initial yield of just over 4pc.
Located close to the corner of Wexford and Kevin streets, the building includes the Government's main property agency, the Office of Public Works (OPW), among its tenants. Last year OPW took a long-term lease of the extended space. Other occupiers include Tourism Ireland and International Financial Data Services, which is owned by fund manager State Street Global Advisors.
Hines is a privately-owned real estate investment firm with a presence in 205 cities in 24 countries.
It has about $133.3bn (€123bn) of assets under management. In Dublin, the firm is redeveloping Central Plaza on Dame St, and developing the new Cherrywood town centre and former Player Wills site. It is also joint owner of Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.