Tuesday 20 August 2019

Google closes in on €120m deal to buy Treasury Building

'Googletown' grows as LinkedIn also secures offices to expand its workforce

The Treasury Building on Grand Canal Street Lower Photo: Tom Burke
The Treasury Building on Grand Canal Street Lower Photo: Tom Burke

Ronald Quinlan, Commercial Property Editor

Tech giant Google is close to finalising a deal to acquire the Treasury Building on Dublin's Grand Canal Street for a figure in excess of €120m, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

It is understood the proposed transaction marks the conclusion of a process which kicked off with informal talks at the beginning of this year.

While a spokeswoman for Google declined to comment, the US web giant's intended purchase of the Treasury Building represents a coup for the property's owners, developers Johnny Ronan, Paddy McKillen, and Percy Nominees.

It also serves as a statement of Google's intent to deepen its investment in Dublin, and to grow its 6,100-strong workforce.

Google's decision to buy the Treasury Building outright is in keeping with its preference for owning its own premises. It previously bought its European headquarters on Barrow Street and the nearby Montevetro building for €100m and €99m respectively, in 2011.

Both buildings were developed by Treasury Holdings, the company formerly led by Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett. Google's move into the Treasury Building could come as early as next year.

The building's current occupier, the NTMA, is poised to move shortly to its new headquarters at Dublin Landings, which is being developed by Sean Mulryan's Ballymore and Singapore-headquartered Oxley Holdings in the north docks.

In more welcome news for Dublin and the wider economy, US tech giant LinkedIn is also understood to have agreed to pre-let 130,000 sq ft of office space at One Wilton, a 150,000 sq ft building which is set to be developed by Iput on the site of Fitzwilton House at Wilton Terrace.

LinkedIn is expected to pay a rent of €60 per sq ft for its new premises, which will be located next to its recently-opened European headquarters at Wilton Place. LinkedIn's pre-letting of space at One Wilton suggests it intends to add hundreds of new employees to its 1,200-strong workforce within the next few years. In its latest annual report, Iput indicated that One Wilton would be completed by mid-2019, subject to the agreement of a pre-let this year.

A spokesman for Iput declined to comment on the company's pre-letting agreement with LinkedIn when contacted by the Sunday Independent.

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