State rents office for €8.2m a year... but it lies idle

An €8.2m-a-year office leased by the State is lying idle with no plans to move workers in until the middle of the year.

The State has been paying rent on Block A of Miesian Plaza on Lower Baggot St, Dublin, since Janauary after a 25-year lease was agreed.

The former Bank of Ireland headquarters is due to house staff from the Department of Health and the Department of Children, but it is expected workers will not move in until the middle of the year when the office fit-out is completed.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald is pressing ahead with a new €80m Garda headquarters as the Government comes under pressure to have it built before a lease on its current office expires.

Some 39% of OPW property is currently leased, including Miesian Plaza, which is set to hold around 900 civil servants over 154,000 sq ft.

Hawkins House, Poolbeg St, houses the Department of Health but has been deemed not fit for purpose, however, staff are not expected to leave until June. The Department of Children is located in Mespil House which is leased for around €1.6m, with plans to move in the middle of this year.

But OPW Minister Seán Canney pointed out €44m had been saved in annual rent though reductions and offloading properties that were surplus to requirements. He said a full national asset database has been put together so departments can make use of any spare space and there was a push towards open-plan offices “to get the optimum out of it for the taxpayer”.


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