European Parliament approves €42.7m deal for Chatham House

Lioncor to begin construction of new Dublin HQ and interactive visitor centre for EU

A computer-generated image of the European Parliament’s new offices on Chatham Street in Dublin city centre.

A computer-generated image of the European Parliament’s new offices on Chatham Street in Dublin city centre.

 

Developer John Maxwell’s Lioncor is to begin construction within the coming weeks of a new visitor centre and offices for the European Parliament on Chatham Street in Dublin city centre.

News of the commencement of works on the site of the former Chatham House follows formal approval yesterday from the EU’s Committee on Budgets to acquire the new building for €42.7 million.

While the committee’s rapporteur Fabienne Keller noted that the European Parliament was paying something of a premium to secure ownership of the property, she stressed the importance of its strategic city centre location for the EU’s operations in Dublin, particularly in the light of Brexit. Ms Keller said the European Parliament had been engaged in its search for a new Dublin office to replace its current Mount Street premises for the past four years.

Having purchased Chatham House for a reported €10.6 million in 2019, Lioncor looks to be in line for a significant return on its original investment even after the estimated €20 million cost of developing the EU’s new Dublin premises is factored in.

While the new six-storey building, which is scheduled for completion in November 2023, will serve principally as the European Parliament’s liaison office in Ireland, it will also feature the Europa Experience, the aim of which will be to educate visitors in relation to the EU’s work. This is set to include several multimedia stations and a 360-degree cinema at basement level which will allow visitors to experience a plenary session of the parliament or take part in a role-play game as a member of the parliament or as an EU commissioner.

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