DAA business park acquires ESB International as early tenant

Former Aer Lingus building is enjoying faster-than-expected take-up of space

Commercial Property Editor

The Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) has had early success with its new business park beside the airport with the completion of legal contracts to lease the former Aer Lingus headquarters to ESB International (ESBI).

The new tenant is to move from offices on St Stephen’s Green to the former airline HQ which is undergoing a radical redevelopment at a cost of over €10 million. The 45-year-old block is to be given a grade-A specification, an A3 energy rating, a new triple-glazed facade, much improved insulation and a T50 broadband service throughout.

Rent saving

ESBI has agreed a rent of about €297 per sq m (€27.60 per sq ft) for the gross area of 7,524sq m (81,000sq ft) – probably a significant saving on the rent it is paying


Irish Life

for about 7,432sq m (80,000sq ft) in Stephen’s Court beside the former Anglo Irish bank HQ on St Stephen’s Green.

Irish Life is expected to upgrade the block and put it back on the market at an even higher rent given its prime location and the shortage of high volume space in the south inner city. ESBI rents the St Stephen’s Green offices on several leases close to running out. The six-storey-over-basement block at the airport is expected to be ready for fit-out early in the new year. The long-term lease includes break options in years five and 10.

Lucy Connolly of the Bannon agency handled the letting along with BNP Paribas Real Estate. Michael Healy of Savills advised the new tenant.

ESBI is a leading global engineering consultancy specialising in energy-related projects. It employs more than 700 staff across operations in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

DAA originally set a long timeframe of 25-30 years for its 70-acre business park but, after the earlier-than-expected success with the old Aer Lingus building and a favourable response to the marketing campaign highlighting its strategic location, insiders believe that it is only a matter of time before it unveils its plans for the next phase of four blocks with an overall floor area of 37,160 sq m (400,000 sq ft).

The airport business campus has considerable advantages over most parks in the Dublin area because of its superb road system and the fact it is serviced by no fewer than 1,500 local and national bus and coach movements on a daily basis.

The park is set to benefit from the airport’s direct links with Europe – there are about 108 daily flights to and from London alone – as well as America and the Middle East.

The ambitious plans by the DAA to broaden its revenue base through the development of a top-of-the-range business park comes after Manchester and Schipol (Amsterdam) airports also signalled their intention to open up their campuses to commercial property tenants wanting to avail of the wide range of support services.

Ancillary activities

Another new strategy involves the DAA supporting the development of the airline maintenance, repair and overhaul business through the establishment of an education and training centre in conjunction with the airlines and third-level institutions.

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

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