Google lines up purchase of €170m Boland's Quay

An artist’s impression of the €170m Boland’s Quay scheme

Ronald Quinlan

Google is close to signing a deal to acquire the entire Boland's Quay scheme in Dublin's docklands, the Irish Independent can reveal. News of the US web giant's bid to buy the €170m development which is located next to its European headquarters on Barrow Street comes just days after this newspaper's sister title, the Sunday Independent reported that the company is now in the process of acquiring the Treasury Building on Dublin's Grand Canal Street for a figure in excess of €120m.

Google's latest foray into the capital's property market will, according to sources familiar with the matter, see it "step into the shoes of the receiver" appointed by Nama to develop out the entirety of the Boland's Quay project. It would also see the international tech titan take its place as one of Ireland's biggest and most important property owners and investors.

While Google had been identified earlier this year as being one of number of parties interested in acquiring a part of the scheme known as Boland's Mills for an estimated €11m, the Irish Independent understands the company effectively removed the competition by stating its desire to purchase the entire project.

Designed by Dublin architectural practice Burke Kennedy Doyle, Boland's Quay will, upon completion, 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 square metres 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).

BAM Ireland won the contract to deliver the scheme earlier this 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.

Google's two latest deals also serve as a statement of its intent to deepen its investment in Dublin, and to grow its 6,100-strong workforce in the capital.

In the case of the Treasury Building, the Irish Independent first revealed Google's interest in buying the building outright last February. Around the same time, the company increased its presence on Grand Canal Street with an agreement to lease 51,096 sq ft from Irish Life at the newly-constructed Velasco Building.

The Velasco, Treasury Building and Boland's Quay are all located within a five-minute walk of each other, and in close proximity to Google's European headquarters on Barrow Street, the acknowledged heart of an area now commonly known as 'Googletown'.