HSBC lends €100m for redevelopment of former Central Bank building

Deal marks HSBC’s first foray into the Irish commercial property sector

The former Central Bank headquarters on Dame Street, which is set to be redeveloped by Hines and Peterson Group. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The former Central Bank headquarters on Dame Street, which is set to be redeveloped by Hines and Peterson Group. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

HSBC Ireland has entered the commercial property lending market for the first time after advancing a €100 million loan for the redevelopment of the former headquarters of the Central Bank of Ireland.

The Central Bank, which had been based on Dame Street since 1980, moved its offices to North Wall Quay in Dublin’s docklands in April of this year.

HSBC said the four-year development loan was provided to Peterson Group and Hines who are jointly redeveloping the site and other adjacent buildings on Dame Street in the centre of Dublin, having paid the regulator €67 million for the properties.

HSBC has had a banking relationship with Peterson Group globally for many years, and Hines with HSBC America in the past.

The funding is a first in the sector for HSBC Ireland’s corporate bank, which has a track record working with Ireland’s internationally-active indigenous corporations and multinationals.

Turned into restaurant

The project will see the top floor of the famous structure turned into a restaurant and bar. The work is being carried out by John Paul Construction and temporary hoarding has been erected around the pedestrian plaza.

The eight-storey tower building was designed by architect Sam Stephenson and completed in 1979.

Its granite stone cladding and the familiar external steel supports are to be restored. The plaza will be reopened to the public once the work is completed while access between Dame Street and Cope Street will be maintained.

John O’Connor, HSBC’s country head of subsidiary banking, said the project involved a “long standing, existing HSBC group client who we were very keen to support”.

“It doesn’t signify a large-scale move into the Irish property market, but it does demonstrate HSBC’s willingness to be selectively active in the sector if it meets our own and our clients’ strategic objectives,” he said.

Mr O’Connor said HSBC Ireland was “delighted to finance this redevelopment. It is an exciting deal from a local perspective, being a landmark building in Dublin’s city centre”.

“We are always looking to support growth of our global clients in Ireland,” he added.

Hines Ireland senior managing director Brian Moran said he was “delighted” to be working with HSBC on what he described as an “exciting investment”.