British property group U+I and joint venture partners Colony Capital are quietly seeking a figure of about €25 million for 23 Shelbourne Road in Ballsbridge.
Although news of the sale will surprise some, coming as it does just nine months on from the partnership's acquisition of the property from Friends First (now part of the Aviva Group), it is understood the move is part of a wider strategy involving its Dublin 4 portfolio.
Central to U+I and Colony’s plan in the area is the refurbishment and extension of the landmark Carrisbrook House, which they acquired in 2016.
While the ambitions of various developers to redevelop the Pembroke Road building had been frustrated over the years by the presence of the Israeli embassy and its concerns over security, U+I and Colony’s purchase of 23 Shelbourne Road has helped to remove that obstacle.
Having appealed the developer’s plan to alter and extend Carrisbrook House to An Bord Pleanála in 2018, the embassy agreed to relocate its operations to the newly-acquired Shelbourne Road property last year.
With that agreement now in place, the proceeds from the sale of number 23 are expected to be used to fund the addition of 2,365sq m (25,467sq ft) of new office space at Carrisbrook House along with a 134sq m (1,442sq ft) cafe on the building’s ground floor and a new rooftop terrace.
U+I and Colony acquired the building for €23.5 million in 2016. The price represented a relative bargain compared to the €46 million developers Bernard McNamara, Jeremiah O'Reilly and the late David Courtney had previously paid to secure ownership of the property in 2007.
U+I has been active in the Irish commercial property market for eight years now. The group's first major undertaking in Dublin saw it joining forces in 2012 with developers Johnny Ronan and Paddy McKillen to deliver the 15979sq m (172,000sq ft) Vertium Building on nearby Burlington Road. Today, the property has been renamed as the Shannon Building and is home to the European headquarters of Amazon, having been let in its entirety to the online retail giant prior to its completion.
The sale of 23 Shelbourne Road meanwhile offers the prospective purchaser the opportunity to secure a fully-refurbished six-storey office building.
The building comprises 2,363sq m (25,435sq ft) of modern office space and is occupied currently by a number of high-profile tenants including Ikea's treasury section, Fami Ltd, Scale-up Systems, Belfius Bank and non-bank lender Finance Ireland.