Green Reit buy Sun Alliance building for €23 million

The news that Green REIT Plc has acquired the former Sun Alliance building — at nos 13-17 Dawson Street, in Dublin 2, for €23m — bodes well for the city’s crane count.

Green Reit buy Sun Alliance building for €23 million

The pivotal office block, with frontage onto Dawson Street and Molesworth Street, and which is currently tenanted on a short-term basis, is earmarked for immediate development by the Irish property investment fund.

The prime Dublin city centre site is ripe for “a shiny new modern building” on the site, says a spokesperson. It’s expected the five-storey block will be doubled in size — up to 20,000sqm, depending on planning — and would tap into unslaked demand for prime, inner-city office space in the capital.

Green, with funding of €750m, of which only €75m is borrowings, (with a yearly report due on September 8) is expecting a lead-in of just under two years for the transformation of the site.

With the office market already heating up, the new and taller office building will be in a strong position to take advantage of even further growth in a rising economy — with most demand centred on prime, Dublin locations.

However, despite a warming in the market, only one crane extends above the Dublin skyline at the moment — on the former Canada life building at Stephen’s Green, on a site owned by Denis O’Brien and developed by a Bernard McNamara company.

Green Reit have a stated objective of assembling a portfolio of prime and good-quality acquisitions with a Dublin focus, but will also look at good bets in Cork, Limerick and Galway, it says.

From a shareholder perspective, the company has done well — it started in June of 2013, just at the market’s turn — “and the market has moved on quite a bit now,” said the spokesperson.

The Sun Alliance building, which was purchased by Shelbourne Investments for €63m, with funding from Anglo Irish Bank, has been sold through Nama. According to Green Reit, it’s regarded as one of Dublin’s best redevelopment sites with substantial frontage onto Dawson Street, in a prime area with potential to double the existing letting.

“This acquisition presents us with another, very exciting Dublin City centre redevelopment opportunity in the heart of Dublin’s CBD, at a time when there is a stark shortage of supply of quality office space in the city centre, ” said Pat Gunne CEO of Green Property REIT Ventures.

The vendors were receivers, Simon Coyle & Tom O’Brien (Mazars), for Shelbourne Properties with Patrick Curran of BNP Paribas Real Estate, handling the sale.

Details: greenreit.com

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