Overseas buyer pays €15.5m for Ballsbridge block

Another heavily-discounted modern office block in Dublin has been snapped up by an overseas buyer after intense bidding for it between Irish and foreign investors.

The successful bidder has agreed to pay €15.5 million, €1.5 million above the guide price, for the recently refurbished office building opposite the former Jurys Hotel at Pembroke Road, Dublin 4. The new owner will get a return of over 7 per cent on the investment.

Although the Dublin market continues to attract considerable overseas attention by investors wanting to cash in on the much reduced property prices, there has only been a trickle of distressed properties going for sale at the request of receivers or Nama.

Numbers 87/89 Pembroke Road was offered for sale through HT Meagher O'Reilly on the instructions of Farrell Grant Sparks, who were appointed receiver to the holding company by the former Anglo Irish Bank.

The three-storey over basement block has a floor area of 2,790sq m (30,000sq ft and car parking at the front and rear.

The block formed part of a larger property holding in Ballsbridge controlled by Bernard McNamara and David Courtney when they competed against several other developers for stakes in the planned high-rise redevelopment of the centre of Ballsbridge.

Part of the attraction of 87/89 Pembroke Road is that virtually half of the €1,158,090 rent is paid by the Bank of Ireland under long-term leases. The bank occupies part of the ground floor and basement, operating a retail branch with separate access from Pembroke Road.

Long lease
The lease of this area (329sq m/3,551 sq ft) is for a term of 150 years from 1968, leaving more than a century unexpired. The same bank also rents 789sq m (8,503sq ft) on the first floor under a 25- year lease from 2006 with 18 years still to run.

Part of the ground and second floors are let for a 10-year period from 2012 to the Irish Computer Society which runs seminars, conferences and courses. A top rated company has also taken a 10-year lease from 2011 of the third floor which extends to 743sq m (8,000sq ft).