Thursday 24 January 2019

Hines gets go ahead for landmark Central Plaza

An artist’s impression of how the proposed Central Plaza scheme will look
An artist’s impression of how the proposed Central Plaza scheme will look
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

US real estate giant, Hines, and the Hong Kong-based Peterson Group have been given the green light by An Bord Pleanala to proceed with their ambitious plans for the redevelopment of the Central Bank's former headquarters on Dame Street in Dublin city centre.

Upon completion, the Central Plaza scheme will include some 73,100 sq ft of commercial office space distributed across eight floors. The new office space will be open plan with breakout meeting spaces, and carry LEED Gold standard, WiredScore Platinum and BER A3 ratings.

The original Central Bank building's six-metre-high entrance lobby will be accessible from the plaza via a grand staircase through a 15-metre wide glazed facade with double-height revolving doors. Hines and its partners expect Central Plaza to become one of the most vibrant areas in Dublin city centre through the creation of 33,000 sq ft of retail, restaurants and cafés at street and basement level.

The existing Central Bank plaza is also being expanded to create a new streetscape towards College Green and along Fownes Street and Cope Street, creating a link between the key retail and tourist destinations of Grafton Street, College Green, Trinity College and Temple Bar.

Central Plaza is part of an overall masterplan that includes adjoining properties at Nos 6-8 College Green, No 9 College Green, and both the Annex and Commercial buildings on Dame Street.

The 12,500 sq ft office component of Nos 6-8 College Green was pre-leased to Amtrust Financial last year. The company will begin occupying the space in the third quarter of this year. The 10,000 sq ft ground floor retail unit at Nos 6-8 is scheduled for completion at the same time and the scaffolding on this building will be removed in the coming weeks.

Hines has engaged BNP Paribas as letting agents of the retail and hospitality offering for Central Plaza and are attracting significant interest from major international and domestic retailers, as well as food and beverage operators. Knight Frank are the office agents for the project.

Welcoming An Bord Pleanala's decision to grant planning permission for the Central Plaza project yesterday, senior managing director of Hines Ireland, Brian Moran, said: "With planning permission now granted it means full steam ahead for this exciting city centre project that will accommodate over 1,300 office professionals and create more than 300 new full and part-time retail and hospitality jobs across the five buildings that make up the Central Plaza complex."

Established in 2011 as the Irish arm of the US real estate giant of the same name, Hines Ireland has since grown its operations exponentially to the point where it has a property portfolio conservatively valued at over €2.3bn. Apart from its partnership with the Peterson Group on the high-profile Central Plaza project, the company is best known as the developer spearheading the creation of Ireland's newest town at Cherrywood in south county Dublin. Last week, Hines secured planning permission from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for the town centre element of the €2bn project, paving the way for the construction of 1,269 build-to-rent apartments alongside 585,000 sq ft of retail, office and leisure space.

The entire Cherrywood scheme is set to comprise more than 7,700 new homes, six schools, three parks and leisure facilities upon completion.

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