Tara jewel in the crown

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EW IT-centered office developments have kicked off in Cork, worth €45m, and in Limerick’s Plassey, worth €25m, as a sign of economic recovery – and just as Dublin’s Facebook HQ gets offered to the international investment market as part of a five-building, premier office portfolio guided at a hefty €263m.

The so-called Tara Portfolio is for sale for Nama, via JLL and CBRE, and can be bought as one lot by investors looking to become a significant player in Dublin, taking in 356,000 sq ft, or in separate lots.

The sale is on behalf of a number of vendors and receivers, say the joint agents, noting the trophy buy will be the ‘starchitect’ Daniel Libeskind-designed Nos 4 & 5 Grand Canal Square, which are occupied by Facebook under two leases – it’s a ’like’, at c €215m for this duo.

Other CBD assets include Alexandra House in Ballsbridge’s Sweepstakes scheme, offices at 86-88 Lower Leeson Street, and One Grand Parade, by the Grand Canal. There’s a mix of long- and short-term income, along with further development and letting opportunities.

Already this year, some €3bn (excluding loan sales) has been invested in Ireland’s investment market, led by the office sector. Grade A office vacancy rate in the prime Dublin 2 and 4 districts is at an all-time low, say CBRE and JLL, with significant rental growth forecast. They say Nos 4 & 5 Grand Canal Square, developed by Chartered Land, are EMEA HQs for Facebook, its largest presence outside of the US, and are done to the highest BREEAM Excellent standards.

Rent is in the order of €10.5m for the two, in the order of €35 psf for No 4, and up to €45 psf for Nos 5, with yields at those two in the region of 4.22% and 5%, based on individual values of €102m for No 4, and €113m for No 5.

Meanwhile, that high energy-efficiency standard is also the goal of the developers of the eight-storey, €45m Cork office block at One Albert Quay. Developers BAM and John Cleary Developments are on site for the past month, sheet-piling for a double basement for car-parking and with a swift build schedule in mind. Fire safety company Tyco are to be the main anchor tenant, as part of major Cork commitment at the development.

Developer John Cleary previously hit top LEEDS Gold standard at City Gate, Mahon, currently home to Tyco, and a raft of other significant firms. Taoiseach Enda Kenny is in Cork tomorrow morning for a business breakfast with Tyco and will turn a sod on the One Albert Quay site opposite City Quarter.

And, in Limerick’s Plassey, a phase 3 of Hamilton House, valued at €25m, has started via developers Brookvale Trust.

Brookvale, headed by Joe Seeley and Jim Cranwell, has a strong Mid-West profile, and were behind Hamilton House at the National Technology Park, bringing an extra 40,000 sq ft to an existing 100,000 sq ft. Design of the latest four-storey building is by Thomson Architects, with completion due in July 2015. Some 20,000 sq ft is pre-let to a multinational, and the remaining 20,000 sq ft may be offered at close to €15 psf by Patrick Seymour of Power and Associates, chartered surveyors in Limerick.

Details: Power & Associates 061-318770, JLL 01-6731600


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