€31m for Ballsbridge block with potential

Shelbourne Road office adjoins two sites earmarked for a major new urban centre

A substantial office building adjoining two sites earmarked for a major new urban centre in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, is expected to attract Irish and overseas interests when it goes on the market today.

Domhnaill O’Sullivan of Savills is to guide in excess of €31 million for Shelbourne House on Shelbourne Road which could be linked in to the new developments or continue to be run as a separate successful mixed use development.

The seven-storey block, which comes with 51 car-parking spaces, stands on a site of .68 of an acre next to the 2.02-acre former Veterinary College site where a new Irish record was set during the boom when it was sold to developer Ray Grehan for an astonishing €171.5 million.

The Comer Group subsequently bought it for €22.5 million and are now pushing ahead with a mixture of offices, apartments and retail facilities fronting on to both Shelbourne Road and Pembroke Road.


The completed scheme will interlink with the adjoining 6.8 acre Ballsbridge hotel site which is also to be redeveloped to accommodate 568 top-end apartments, a 152-bedroom hotel and associated retail and commercial space.

That project is to be handled by Joe O'Reilly's Chartered Land and the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund.

The two developments will help to restore Ballsbridge’s reputation as Dublin’s premier business, residential and embassy district where there is a constant demand for both office and residential accommodation.

Shelbourne House is already producing a rental income of over €1.6 million which can be significantly increased by upgrading some of the office space and taking a booking for a 769 sq m (8,277 sq ft) vacant floor as well as one of three apartments at penthouse level.

When fully let, the building will show a net yield of around 6.2 per cent.

In the meantime the 5,972 sq m (64,287 sq ft) building is available at an attractive capital value of €482 per sq ft.

Shelbourne House is laid out in two parts, the original 1975 block and a subsequent linked in building each with a separate access and circulation cores.

An Post operates a key sorting office on the ground floor and rents additional space on the first and second floors to bring its overall requirement to 1,103sq m (11,875sq ft). The semi-State company pays a rent of €270,000 under a lease which ran out at the end of 2014.

The largest rent of €1,018,000 is paid by the Office of Public Works for 2,901 sq m (31,228 sq ft) used by the Special Olympics Committee and the Adoption Board. The OPW lease has another nine years to run though the average unexpired lease term for the entire building is less than four years.

Another tenant, the Malaysian Embassy, is paying a rent of €144,000 for 423sq m (4,556sq ft) under a leasewhich is due to run until 2023. The Malaysian Tourist Board also occupies a office suite of 64 sq m (689 sq ft) at a rent of €29,500.

Two of the three penthouses are let, the largest of them, a three-bed unit, is rented at €48,000 per annum. A two-bedroom apartment brings in €24,000 while the third penthouse is also expected to rent easily.

A 2,273 sq m (24,470 sq ft) office building at 23 Shelbourne Road bought by Friends First last December for €18 million is now available to let at €565 per sq m (€52.50 per sq ft).

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan is the former commercial-property editor of The Irish Times