An Post to free up redevelopment site in south Dublin docklands

An Post relocating sorting office from Cardiff Lane to lower-value area

An Post is to free up a high-value 2.3-acre redevelopment site in the south Dublin docklands by relocating its sorting office from Cardiff Lane to an alternative address, probably in the East Wall area on the opposite side of the city quays.

Des Lennon of agents JLL is handling the sale of the site which has a face value of over €45 million. However, a condition of the sale is that the purchaser will have to relocate the existing sorting office to an appropriate site of 1.5-2 acres within a radius of 1.5 miles of Cardiff Lane. Land values in the East Wall area are less than €5 million per acre.

Although the postal service complex does not have a water frontage, it will still be much sought after in an area where office space is in much demand from financial, legal and technology companies.

The site is directly opposite No 2 Grand Canal Square, the distinctive Daniel Libeskind-designed block which is shortly to accommodate the leading law firm William Fry. It is also adjacent to Facebook's even more impressive European headquarters and the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.


The site has a mixed-use zoning which will allow for the development of at least 9,290sq m (100,000sq ft ) of offices and about 100 apartments.

The timing of the sale coincides with the recent adoption of the Strategic Development Zone which is expected to speed up the rejuvenation of both the south and the north docklands.

This is the second time An Post will be relocating its sorting office to facilitate the redevelopment of the docklands. In the early 1990s it closed down its main sorting office at Sheriff Street to allow for the extension of the International Financial Services Centre.

Des Lennon says An Post is planning to capitalise on the difference in land values and is now seeking proposals to relocate from the high-value Cardiff Lane to lower-value areas in Dublin 1 or 3.

Existing landowners on the north side could possibly have an advantage when it comes to bidding for the sorting office site.

Nama has an interest in a range of sites in the north docklands as well as Dublin City Council, CIÉ and a number of developers including Christopher Bennett.

An important condition of the sale is that a similar-sized sorting office extending to around 1,858sq m (20,000sq ft) will have to be developed in the new location.

There is a world of a difference in land values between the north and south sides of the city quays. This summer Hibernia REIT paid the equivalent of €23.67 per acre for a site at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay on the south side.

It paid €17.75 million for 0.75 of an acre fronting on to the Liffey which gives it full control of a riverside quadrant. The site also backs on to U2’s former studio which Hibernia also owns, along with the adjoining Observatory office block. Hibernia is expected to develop a substantial office complex on the vacant site.

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

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