OPW to pay €1.1m extra per year to retain Garda HQ

The State is set to pay just over €1m more per year in rent for An Garda Síochána to remain in its Dublin regional headquarters for a further six years.

Publicly-quoted investment fund Hibernia REIT bought the 1.9 acre Harcourt Square site for €70m last year and received planning permission for a total redevelopment and expansion of the site expected to cost around €100m. 

However, legal proceedings began earlier this year in relation to various matters, including Hibernia’s full access to the site and the OPW’s desire for a lease extension.

It was announced yesterday that both sides have reached an agreement.

The lack of an identified new permanent site and associated problems with a short-term move were seen as major problems facing An Garda Síochána. 

Harcourt Square houses the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation unit and handles emergency calls in the Dublin area.

The new agreement —which comes into play in January — will see Harcourt Square remaining as the Dublin Garda headquarters until 2023, but the OPW will now pay €6m per year in rent on the site, to Hibernia REIT, instead of the current €4.9m.

A once-off arrears payment of €500,000 is also payable.

In return, Hibernia REIT will only retake full control of the site in six years time with no development work to be undertaken until then. The company will, however, be free to pursue future tenents.

Hibernia’s share price was largely unmoved yesterday, but analysts were upbeat on the resolution.

“This new non-renewable lease agreed would appear to be the best short-term outcome for both sides,” said Colm Lauder of Goodbody.


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