Friday 21 September 2018

Google closes in on deal for €170m Boland's Quay

Google
Google
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Google's acquisition of the entire Boland's Quay scheme in Dublin's docklands has moved a step closer to completion.

The Irish Independent understands heads of terms for the deal have been agreed between the US tech giant and Nama-appointed receiver Savills Ireland, which is currently presiding over the development of the €170m project by BAM Ireland.

While both Google and Savills declined to comment on the matter, the expected completion of the sale will represent the company's most significant investment in the Dublin property market to date.

Upon completion, Boland's Quay will include three new landmark buildings, with the tallest rising to 53 metres (173 ft). There will also be a 15-storey apartment block rising to 47.8 metres (157 ft) and a 13-storey office block of 49 metres (161 ft).

Capable of accommodating 2,500 workers, the scheme will comprise some 36,851 sq m of office, residential, retail and cultural space. This will be made up of 25,455 sq m (274,000 sq ft) of office space, 41 waterfront apartments, and retail and commercial space of 1,394 sq m (15,000sq ft). The project will also include a new pedestrian bridge, two new civic plazas with water frontage to Grand Canal Dock and a cultural/community space of 549 sq m (5,910 sq ft).

Separately, the Irish Independent understands that Google remains in negotiations with the owners of the Treasury Building on Dublin's Grand Canal Street, with a view to acquiring the property for a figure in excess of €120m. It is understood the parties first held talks in relation to the sale of the building in February of last year.

Both the Boland's Quay and Treasury Building transactions are in keeping with Google's preference for owning its own premises. In 2011, the company bought its European headquarters on Barrow Street and the nearby Montevetro building for €100m and €99m respectively.

The US web giant hasn't confined its search for office accommodation to properties it might buy, however. Indeed, only this week, it emerged that the company has reached an agreement to lease new offices from US real estate investment firm Kennedy Wilson at the Chase Building in Sandyford in south county Dublin. Google will occupy the remaining 52,900 sq ft of vacant space at the property.

The agreement of the deal represents Google's second foray within six months into the Sandyford Business District (SBD). Last August, the company reached an agreement with Irish Life to lease four floors at the nearby Blackthorn Building.

Last week, Google formally opened its latest offices in the Dublin docklands area, inviting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to cut the ribbon on the newly-constructed Velasco Building on Grand Canal Street.

The 51,000 sq ft property, which is within walking distance of Google's Barrow Street headquarters, will be home to an Advanced Solutions Lab where Google Cloud's enterprise customers can co-create and develop customised solutions for their business on-site in conjunction with Google Cloud experts.

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