French investor Amundi Real Estate is closing in on the purchase of the newly-developed Fitzwilliam 28 office scheme in Dublin city centre for over €170 million.
The expected completion of the deal will provide a major boost to the commercial property market, coming as it does in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.
Amundi is understood to have stepped in to acquire the property after discussions with Morgan Stanley ended. The US-headquartered firm is believed to have been the preferred party following the receipt of initial bids.
Amundi Real Estate is a specialist subsidiary of Europe's leading asset manager Amundi, a company with some €1.527 trillion in assets under management. In terms of commercial property, the French investment giant currently controls a portfolio comprising 750 properties across 14 countries, and with an overall value of €37.6 billion.
News of Amundi’s move to acquire Fitzwilliam 28 comes just two weeks after German real estate investor GLL Real Estate completed its €182 million purchase of the Bishop’s Square office scheme on Kevin Street from Hines.
Both the timing of the two transactions and the involvement of long-term institutional investors shows the degree to which Dublin has established itself as a location to deploy international capital.
Located on Fitzwilliam Street and at the heart of the core central business district in Dublin 2, the building Fitzwilliam 28 was brought to the market last January by joint agents Savills Ireland and Bannon at a guide price of €168 million.
Both agents declined to comment on the sale of the property when contacted by The Irish Times.
The appeal of the Fitzwilliam 28 investment was significantly enhanced by the fact that the building's owners, the ESB, had agreed to lease the property in its entirety to Slack Technologies prior to offering it for sale. The workplace collaboration tech giant is set to pay in excess of €7.7 million in rent per annum for the building.
Slack’s decision to rent all 135,617sq ft of space at Fitzwilliam 28 will give it the capacity to add as many as 1,100 jobs in Dublin. The company currently employs about 180 people at its existing European headquarter operations at One Park Place on nearby Hatch Street.
Fitzwilliam 28 is one of two adjoining but independent blocks both being developed by the ESB. The sister block to 28, Fitzwilliam 27, will be owner-occupied by the utilities provider.
In terms of specification, Fitzwilliam 28 will upon completion feature extensive landscaping and sunken gardens, a double-height reception with marble walls and natural stone floored area leading to a centralised core offering the occupier maximum flexibility.
The A3 BER-rated building will also feature more than 1,759sq m (18,933sq ft) of rooftop, courtyard and terrace gardens, providing extensive views of Dublin, in particular Merrion Square.
The building is designed by internationally acclaimed Grafton Architects and O'Mahony Pike Architects. PJ Hegarty & Sons are the contractors.
The Fitzwilliam scheme enjoys a prime location in close proximity of Government Buildings, the traditional retail core of Grafton Street and St Stephen’s Green and the city’s south docklands.
The immediate area is well serviced by Dublin’s public transport network, with both the Luas and Dart and numerous Dublin Bus routes within a short walk.