Irish law firm, Matheson, has signed a new 12-year lease for its headquarters at Sir John Rogerson's Quay in Dublin's south docklands.
While the terms of the company's agreement with Irish Life have not been disclosed, it is understood that it will pay a rent of just under €55 per sq ft for Riverside IV.
Matheson’s decision to enter into a new lease and not to exercise a break option on the building will be seen as providing a significant boost to the Dublin office market, and may provide some indication of the demand for offices in the post Covid-19 world. The firm’s original 25-year agreement ran from 2007and provided for a break option in year 15, which would have allowed Matheson to surrender its lease on the property with minimal or no penalty in 2022.
A spokesman for Irish Life declined to comment when asked by The Irish Times if Matheson’s agreement now of a new 12-year lease on Riverside IV had effectively restructured the parties’ existing arrangement to remove the provision for upward-only rent reviews. Under legislation enacted in 2009, upward-only rent reviews were banned for all leases created after February 28th, 2010. With a new lease in place, Matheson is now in a position to seek a reduction from Irish Life of its rent should market rents have fallen at the time of its next review.
Developed originally by Sean Dunne, Riverside IV is a seven-storey over basement building comprising 12,355sq m (133,000sq ft) of office space. The developer sold the property in 2006 in part exchange for the Irish Life-owned Hume House next to his extensive former Jurys hotel site in Ballsbridge. Riverside IV was valued at the time at €170 million while the 7,432sq m (80,000sq ft) Hume House had a sale price of €130 million.
In 2009, and in the depths of the financial crisis, Irish Life offered a 50 per cent stake in Riverside IV to the market at a guide price of €50 million. But while a willing Irish purchaser emerged, the company ultimately decided not to sell, citing the emergence the following year of an improving investment climate.