Tuesday 20 February 2018

Hibernia Reit gets green light to redevelop Dublin offices

Harcourt Square
Harcourt Square

Peter Flanagan Commercial Property Editor

Property firm Hibernia Reit has been given the go-ahead to redevelop an office block on Harcourt Street in central Dublin, in a move that is likley to improve its chances of taking vacant possession of the block.

In a statement, Hibernia said it had received "full planning permission for phase two of the redevelopment of Harcourt Square, totalling 142,500 sq ft net internal area (NIA), from An Bord Pleanála".

Dublin City Council had previously approved Hibernia's plans. Phase two, along with phase one which was approved last year means Hibernia now has full planning permission for up to 276,500 sq ft NIA of new offices and ancillary accommodation on the 1.9 acre site.

Company chief executive Kevin Nowlan said the move "is an important step in our plans".

An Bord Pleanála's decision may now help Hibernia take over all of the office block. It is let to the Office of Public Works and is occupied by the Gardai.

Hibernia is seeking vacant possession of the property to commence redevelopment but the OPW has applied to the courts for statutory extension of its four leases on the property, which Hibernia has indicated it is defending,

Analysts at Goodbody Stockbrockers believe the decision to grant permission "strengthens [Hibernia's] legal position.

"Our models currently incorporate the existing rental level of €38 sq ft. A move to a rent in the mid-50s would add some €2m to Hibernia's annual rental income. Alternatively, in our recent post FY16 results note, we estimated full redevelopment could potentially add 8-10c to NAV."

Hibernia shares fell 0.96pc yesterday to close at €1.24 in Dublin.

The shares have fallen nearly 12pc in the year to date.

Irish Independent

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