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Trust snaps up Dublin Garda HQ in €70m deal


The Garda Harcourt Square HQ

The Garda Harcourt Square HQ

The Garda Harcourt Square HQ

The Garda's Dublin headquarters building at Harcourt Square in Dublin 2 has been sold to a property trust for €70m.

Sources say that the offices will still be used by An Garda Siochana as its base in the short term but the force may be have to look for a new premises in the longer term.

This would give the new owners the option of redeveloping the prime city centre site, demolishing it and rebuilding it at a higher density.

The offices occupy almost two acres and more than 115,000 sq ft of office space with parking for almost 160 cars.

Just a short distance from St Stephen's Green, the site has excellent public transport links - with immediate proximity to the Harcourt Luas stop.

The building is the HQ for the Garda's Dublin Metropolitan Region.

Hibernia REIT plc announced that it has exchanged contracts with Gangkhar plc to buy the building in an "off-market transaction" for investment purposes.

It is understood Gangkhar is an entity controlled by a company called Starwood Capital, who in 2013 bought the site from NAMA as part of the bigger Project Aspen loan portfolio.

The property is let to the Office of Public Works (OPW) and fully occupied by An Garda Siochana at a rent of €4.9m a year. The lease on Block 1 expired in 2014 and the OPW has applied for renewal, while the leases on Blocks 2-4 expire in 2016.

Hibernia plan to submit an application shortly to replace the existing blocks with Grade A office space in a higher density.

"We estimate the site could cater for a development of around 50,000-300,000 sq ft," said Goodbody Stockbrokers in a note commenting on the deal.

"We would expect development to begin on a new site in the medium term with development likely to take two years."