Paddy McKillen jnr firm closing in on €17m deal for landmark Topshop building

Developer to convert UK retailer’s flagship at 6-7 St Stephen’s Green into boutique hotel

No 6-7 St Stephen’s Green was built in 1870 for famous Dublin wine merchants and grocers Robert Smyth & Co

No 6-7 St Stephen’s Green was built in 1870 for famous Dublin wine merchants and grocers Robert Smyth & Co

 

Developer Paddy McKillen jnr and Matt Ryan’s Oakmount is closing in on the purchase of UK fashion retailer Topshop’s former flagship premises at 6-7 St Stephen’s Green in Dublin city centre.

While the proposed sale price has not been disclosed, it is understood to be in line with the €17.25 million joint agents Savills and BNP Paribas Real Estate had been guiding when they offered the building to the market on behalf of Irish property company Iput in March. Both Oakmount and Iput declined to comment on the matter when contacted by The Irish Times.

No 6-7 St Stephen’s Green has lain largely dormant since the departure of Topshop from its ground, lower-ground and first-floor levels, which together account for 2,069sq m (22,271sq ft) of retail space. The entire building extends to 2,482sq m (26,716sq ft), with the second, third and fourth floors (412sq m/4,434sq ft) given over to self-contained offices.

Although the sale of the building has yet to be completed, The Irish Times understands McKillen jnr and Ryan have an ambitious plan to convert the landmark property into a boutique hotel, which will probably be operated as part of their Press Up Hospitality Group.

Wine merchants

No 6-7 St Stephen’s Green was built in 1870 for famous Dublin wine merchants and grocers Robert Smyth & Co, and the elevation, with its many elaborate, stone carvings, still retains the initials RS.

Iput secured ownership of 6-7 St Stephen’s Green in 2014 as part of its wider €115 million all-cash acquisition of the Salix fund, a portfolio of 13 investment-grade properties held by the Bank of Ireland staff pension fund. The portfolio also included a 50 per cent interest in the extensive B&Q retail warehouse at Liffey Valley, a one-third interest in the IDA’s former Dublin headquarters at Wilton Place and a mix of industrial and retail properties. At the time of the 2014 deal, Iput is understood to have ascribed a value of more than €20 million to 6-7 St Stephen’s Green based on the building’s then rental income of €2 million per annum.

The Bank of Ireland staff pension fund, for its part, had purchased the property for £6 million in August 1995 from a consortium that included members of rock band U2. Following that deal, it was converted from the Galleria Shopping Centre to house Ireland’s first Habitat, the interiors lifestyle retail brand founded and made famous by the late British designer Terence Conran.