Tuesday 20 March 2018

Irish Life splashes out €58m on D2 office block

The Velasco Building.
The Velasco Building.
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Financial services firm Irish Life has acquired the D2-based Velasco building from Ardstone and Hardwicke in a deal believed to be worth around €58m.

The building, which sits on the corner of Grand Canal Street and Clanwilliam Place, will be eight storeys tall with 13 car parking spaces at basement and podium levels when the building is completed in the first half of next year.

Upon completion the Velasco building, which was the site of the former Kestrel House, will span 4,738 sq m.

It is understood Irish Life beat off a range of overseas and domestic buyers to secure the property. Leasing agent JLL has also reported strong occupier interest in the premises.

The delivery of Velasco represents the cumulative efforts of Ardstone and Hardwicke, who have been in strong partnership over the past 24 months.  

Irish Life head of property Martin O'Reilly said the company is delighted to take ownership of a new Dublin landmark.

 "Velasco will offer a fantastic opportunity for occupiers to locate in the heart of Dublin and enjoy all the benefits that brings for their staff. 

"This acquisition represents another active 'enhance to core' play by Irish Life in the Central Dublin office market. Other notable examples include the ongoing development of 1GQ at Georges Quay and refurbishment at 2-4 Merrion Row, following successful refurbishment and releasing projects such as Georges Dock in the IFSC and 30 Herbert Street.”

The move comes after Ardstone sold 2 Harbourmaster Place in the IFSC to German fund Real IS.

Both Ardstone and Hardwicke have finished the refurbishment of 100 Mount Street, which is full-leased and believed to be under offer from an international purchaser.

Irish Life has been very active in the Irish market over the last three years having acquired €800m of direct property. Last year, Irish Life acquired the ‘Sovereign Portfolio’ for a price in excess of €150m and more recently, Irish Life acquired Hume House Ballsbridge for a price in the region of €35m.

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