Mel Sutcliffe of Quanta Capital has paid over €40 million in an off-market deal for the landmark Shelbourne House in Ballsbridge.
The transaction, which is understood to have been completed in recent weeks, represents the latest acquisition made by Dubliner Sutcliffe in the Irish market over the past four years. The Shelbourne House purchase is understood to have been supported with funding from Fairfield Real Estate Finance and its US-headquartered backers, Oaktree Capital Management.
The sale of the Dublin 4 property is said by industry sources to have been handled by receivers acting on the instructions of private equity firm, Cerberus.
A spokesperson for Quanta Capital declined to comment when contacted by The Irish Times.
Shelbourne House previously formed part of the portfolio of O'Malley Homes and Development, and has for years served as the location for its headquarters.
Cerberus is understood to have acquired the debt securing the property as part of its purchase of Nama’s €3 billion Project Gem portfolio. While the O’Malley Group of companies continues to trade successfully, a number of its loans were included in the Nama sale.
Located on a 0.7 acre site on Shelbourne Road between the Comer Group’s Number One Ballsbridge office scheme and the high-end Lansdowne Place apartment development, Shelbourne House currently comprises a seven-storey office and apartment building extending to a total area of 7,068sq m (76,079sq ft).
Although the majority of the offices are let to tenants, including the Malaysian embassy, An Post and the OPW, the property's potential for redevelopment was pointed to in the planning application submitted in 2018 by receiver Stephen Tennant of Grant Thornton in which he sought permission to demolish the building and replace it with a 10,567sq m (113,742sq ft) structure.
And while that particular plan was rejected by both Dublin City Council and An Bord Pleanála on the grounds that the proposed amount of office space wouldn't be in keeping with the site's residential zoning objective, it is expected the new owners of Shelbourne House will prepare a fresh application to replace the existing property with a more substantial office-led scheme.
The sale of Shelbourne House comes just five months on from the acquisition by British property group U+I and joint venture partners, Colony Capital, of the neighbouring office building, 23 Shelbourne Road, for about €25 million.