Wednesday 21 August 2019

IDA starts search for new HQ as lease expiry date looms

IDA boss Martin Shanahan
IDA boss Martin Shanahan
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The IDA is on the hunt for a new global headquarters as the lease on its existing premises approaches the end of its term.

The agency - tasked with luring foreign investment to Ireland - wants to hire a property agency to "evaluate the strategic and economic options for obtaining new global headquarters for the organisation".

It's currently based in Dublin's Wilton Park House and it's almost certain the new HQ will also be in the capital.

The current headquarters could be redeveloped after property investment firm Iput recently agreed to buy the two-thirds of the premises it doesn't already control. The lease on the IDA premises at Wilton Park House expires in 2019.

The gross per annum lease cost is €4.6m. However, the IDA sublets space at the 130,000 sq ft office to five other tenants.

That reduces the annual rent cost directly attributable to the IDA at the location to €2m.

The IDA entered its lease agreement for Wilton Park House in 1984. The lease agreement has no break clauses.

Earlier this month, Iput agreed a deal to acquire two-thirds of a stake in Wilton Park House from pension funds that are managed by State Street Global Advisors.

That raised speculation that Iput will seek to redevelop the prime office block.

The IDA, headed by Martin Shanahan, hasn't ruled out remaining in the premises, despite starting the search for a new HQ. The property agent it hires will be asked to "review all options" in relation to its current location. But it appears to be leaning towards a move.

It wants the agent to handle negotiations with its existing landlord at the current premises, and also with potential new landlords "to secure the most strategic and economic outcome for IDA Ireland's global headquarters".

It added that the new property agent will be asked to prepare an interim report for the IDA "on the overall best available property options which accommodate the strategic and economic needs of the organisation". It also wants advice on the options for the sub-tenants at Wilton Park House.

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Irish Independent

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