Central Bank buys building near planned new North Wall Quay HQ

Bank determined that ‘acquiring the building at market price’ was good business sense

Block R on Spencer Dock: adjacent to the city’s thriving financial and business district

Block R on Spencer Dock: adjacent to the city’s thriving financial and business district


The Central Bank has acquired a relatively new office building close to its planned new headquarters at North Wall Quay in the Dublin docklands.

The bank was the top bidder at €104 million for Block R on Spencer Dock, which is adjacent to the city’s thriving financial and business district. The bank already occupies just under 50 per cent of the block, which has an overall floor area of 11,798 sq m (127,000 sq ft). It is already paying €3 million for the accommodation, equating to €495 a sq m (€46 a sq ft).

The British building society Nationwide occupies almost half of the top floor, while the balance of the space is to be fitted out for State bodies, including the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Office of Government Procurement and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer.

The total annual rent roll will be almost €4.9 million. More than 40 per cent of the building is let at €323 a sq m (€33 per sq ft).

The Central Bank’s 25-year lease dates back to 2008. A spokesperson said yesterday that based on its leasing arrangement, the bank “determined that acquiring the building at market price would make good business sense”.

Because Block R was located close to the planned North Wall Quay building, it would provide the bank with assured headroom for future potential long-term accommodation needs.

The bank’s existing city centre staff, currently located in College Green, Dame Street, Harcourt Street and Spencer Dock, would be centralised into the new North Wall Quay building starting at the end of 2016, according to a spokesperson.

Block R was developed by Treasury Holdings just before the property crash. It sold a 62 per cent interest in the building to two geared property funds owned by IBRC Assurance, which paid €66.3 million plus costs of €2.7 million. That deal was financed by a €52 million non recourse loan from IBRC.

The Central Bank expects to spend about €140 million on its new headquarters after appointing Walls Construction as the main contractor.

Savills and CBRE handled the sale of Block R.