Plan to spend €35m to finish Elm Park development

Starwood Capital and Chartered Land buy south Dublin development from Nama

US investor Starwood Capital Group and Irish developer Chartered Land plan to spend €35 million on finishing out the Elm Park office and residential development on the Merrion Road in south Dublin.

The sale of the 750,000sq ft campus was completed on Wednesday by receivers Duff & Phelps on behalf of the National Asset Management Agency.

Starwood and Chartered Land now plan to invest in the development and enhancement of the 17.3 acre site.

Chartered Land will develop the eight-storey, 174,000sq ft Pioneer Building, which is located at the front of the campus with views of Dublin Bay.



This will be turned into a high-quality commercial office asset that will include an extensive reconfiguration of the main circulation cores.

Other enhancements will include a sport and leisure centre and significant landscaping. The works are expected to be completed within 12 months.

Adam Shah, senior vice president of Starwood Capital Group said the investment offered "exceptional promise" and said the joint venture would allow Elm Park to deliver on its "full potential".

“Given its scope and scale, the quality of its existing assets and the prospects for significant enhancement through strategic development, we expect to create a world-class work-live environment at Elm Park,” he said.

Andrew Gunne, chief executive of Chartered Land, said the campus was in need of major investment and repositioning.

“The fact that tenants such as Allianz, Novartis, Willis and Wipro have located here underscores its appeal to large, international corporate occupiers,” he said, adding that its location close to Ballsbridge, Donnybrook, Belfield and Blackrock would allow it to compete strongly for new tenants.

Elm Park comprises three completed blocks of commercial offices, one of which is owned by Friends First.

There is also the Pioneer Building, which will be completed as part of the new plan.

In addition, there are two blocks of housing totalling 332 units, a terrace of eight houses located at the front of the site, a café, a childcare facility and a leisure centre.

Its rental income currently amounts to about €9.5 million a year.


Elm Park was developed in 2007 by Bernard McNamara, Jerry O’Reilly and the late David Courtney. This sale was handled by DTZ Sherry Fitzgerald and Savills.

Starwood is already a major investor in the Irish property market.

A controlled affiliate of the group is currently developing sites at Windmill Lane in Dublin in a joint venture with Hibernia Reit, to deliver 120,000sq ft of Grade A offices.

In 2013, Starwood acquired the Aspen non-performing loan portfolio comprising 39 commercial properties.

Last year, a Starwood affiliate acquired a 610,000sq ft office and residential portfolio in Ireland’s largest direct real estate transaction.

Established in 1996, Chartered Land is controlled by leading Irish developer Joe O'Reilly and is probably best known for the Dundrum Towncentre. The company has exited Nama and is currently developing the 6.8 acre hotel site in Ballsbridge that was acquired by Sean Dunne for about €400 million at the height of the property boom.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times