Sunday 19 May 2019

Ronan secures €478m in loans for flagships

Developer Johnny Ronan. Photo: Tony Gavin
Developer Johnny Ronan. Photo: Tony Gavin

Michael Cogley

Developer Johnny Ronan and his joint-venture partner Colony Capital have secured €478m in development finance to fund the construction of two flagship office developments.

The development loans will be used to support the development of Fibonacci Square in Ballsbridge, formerly AIB's headquarters, and Spencer Place in the Dublin Docklands. Ronan's deal to lease Fibonacci Square to Facebook was the single-largest office letting in the history of the State.

The Spencer Place development, which will house tech giant Salesforce's new tower, is mired in an ongoing planning battle between the developer and Dublin City Council, which is now being played out in the courts.

Bank of Ireland led a €260m syndicated development facility with AIB and Ulster Bank for the Spencer Place development, which stretches across 430,000 sq ft across three buildings, which are fully pre-let. Should Ronan win his battle to boost the size of the development it will increase to 530,000 sq ft.

Bank of Ireland was also the lead on a €218m syndicated development facility with AIB to fund the development of Fibonacci Square in Dublin 4, which will deliver 350,000 sq ft across two buildings.

"With the loan facilities in place and work already under way at both Spencer Place and Fibonacci Square, we look forward to delivering these two landmark schemes," Ronan Group's Guy Leech said. "These will be world-class buildings occupied by leading global companies."

Colony Capital managing director Stefan Jaeger said that the deal "brings us one step closer to realising our vision for these prime sites in Dublin". Bank of Ireland's head of property finance said the projects should add "considerable stimulus to the Irish economy".

The finance deal follows the news that Ronan secured planning permission to build a 22-storey mixed-use tower on Dublin's Tara Street.

The developer has also unveiled plans for a €350m residential development in the city's Docklands.

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