Central Bank to move into unfinished Anglo HQ after €7m deal with Nama
THE CENTRAL Bank is to move its headquarters to the unfinished building formerly earmarked for Anglo Irish Bank, after agreeing terms yesterday for the purchase of the partly-built structure from Nama for €7 million.
It is intended that all staff will move to the new premises in Dublin’s Docklands and vacate the current headquarters on Dame Street by mid-2015.
A spokesman for the Central Bank said it was not commenting on how much it may cost to complete the structure originally intended as a new HQ for Anglo.
In 2009 the High Court heard that it could cost more than €60 million to complete.
The shell-like edifice, located just north of the river Liffey in the heart of Dublin’s Docklands, was developed by Liam Carroll. It has become a potent symbol of Ireland’s financial collapse.
Plans to turn the building into the lender’s new head office were abandoned following the nationalisation of the bank in 2009.
Nama took over the building following the collapse of Mr Carroll’s building companies, collectively known as the Zoe Group.
The Central Bank will tender for the construction project through the public procurement process.
Currently, Central Bank employees are dispersed across different locations in the city, including its Dame Street headquarters.
The bank recently signed a five-year lease on a 5,574sq m (60,000sq ft) premises at Iveagh Court on Adelaide Road, while it also has operations at Spencer Dock.
It is understood that a consultative process with local businesses will begin as the future of the Dame Street building is decided.
Designed by Sam Stephenson, the building was highly controversial when it was built in the 1970s.
More recently, it was the site of the “Occupy Dame Street” protests.
Nama’s chief executive Brendan McDonagh yesterday welcomed the sale of the former Anglo HQ, pointing out that the agency had prioritised the sale of the asset over the past 18 months.
A number of companies, including US bank BNY Mellon, had expressed interest in the site, which will offer 230,000sq ft of office space once completed, making it one of the largest commercial office blocks in the area.
Due diligence is still to be completed on the deal between the Central Bank and Nama.
The Central Bank has seen its workforce significantly increase since the financial crisis unfolded.Since 2010 the regulatory body has incorporated the office of the Financial Regulator.
In total, the regulatory body employed 1,372 people at the end of 2011, a 12 per cent increase on 2010.
It is projected that its workforce will eventually reach 1,560.
Salaries, benefits and pensions to staff amounted to €103 million in 2011, an increase of 19 per cent.
The Central Bank made a profit of more than €1.2 billion compared with €840 million in 2010, and is paying surplus income of €958 million to the exchequer, up from €671 million in 2010.
The value of assets at the bank fell in 2011, to €173 billion from €204.5 billion a year earlier.