The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) and the Construction Workers Pension Scheme (CWPS) are understood to have secured about €23 million from the sale of the CIF's headquarters on Canal Road in Dublin 6.
The building and its site have been purchased by the international property developer, Osborne + Co, with property veteran Tom Hamilton in place as the company's managing director in Ireland.
Osborne's acquisition of the site, known as 'Canalside', represents its second deal to date in the Irish market. The company made its initial foray here last year when its subsidiary, Vanguard Global Realty, paid €23 million to the Legionaries of Christ in an off-market transaction for 2.6 hectares (6.5 acres) of lands attached to the order's home and St Michael's School at Sandyford in south Dublin. Vanguard intends to pursue the delivery of an office-led redevelopment on that site.
Osborne’s plans for its latest acquisition meanwhile will see the demolition of the CIF’s 1980s headquarter building, and its replacement with 147,000sq ft of Grade A office space. Some 17,000sq ft of this will be contained in a new building to be retained by the CIF under the terms of the deal. The vast majority of the space – 130,000sq ft – will be contained in a second office building which is expected to come to the market in early 2024. A planning application for the development is set to be submitted in November of this year. The masterplan architects on the project are Reddy Architecture and Urbanism.
The Canalside site is located 200m from the Charlemont Luas green line stop, and in an area which has attracted a number of major international employers in recent years including Amazon, LinkedIn and Zendesk.
Outside of its involvement in the Dublin office market, Osborne + Co has a track record of large-scale office and mixed-use projects elsewhere, including Santander Bank’s new UK headquarters in Milton Keynes, Belfast Waterside (Belfast), and HSBCs’ Middle East headquarter building in Dubai.
The company has an existing Irish connection through its co-founders Jim and Conor Osborne and has ambitious plans for its operations here. Having spent €46 million on the two Dublin deals it has completed to date, the company is aiming to assemble a €500 million portfolio over the next three years.
Commenting on his company’s acquisition of the CIF’s headquarter site, Tom Hamilton, managing director of Osborne + Co Ireland, said: “We have ambitious plans for a redevelopment to provide both a new home for the CIF and a new office building in an excellent location adjacent to public transport and the city centre, for which we believe there is a highly-compelling demand and supply dynamic. We are confident that despite the recent challenges of the pandemic there remains a positive outlook for inward investment and demand, particularly from international technology companies for whom the fundamentals in Ireland remain highly attractive.”
CIF president Frank Kelly said: “This is an exciting step forward for the Construction Industry Federation. Our new headquarters will reflect the exceptional quality, sustainability and dynamism of the industry the federation represents.”
Andy O’ Gorman, chairman of the Construction Workers’ Pension Scheme said: “The CWPS trustee board are pleased on behalf of all the scheme members that agreement on a joint sale of the site brings a significant enhancement to the value of the Canal Road property, which forms part of the scheme’s substantial investment portfolio currently valued in excess of €1.8 billion.”
The sale of the Canalside site was handled by Des Lennon at JLL and Suzy Quirke at FQP. Osborne + Co has appointed Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE as joint letting agents for the offices, which are targeted for competition in early 2024.