Quayside buy for New Ireland Assurance

Fund pays €26 million for The Anchorage office building on Dublin’s south docks

New Ireland Assurance has emerged as the surprise purchaser of The Anchorage, a seven-year-old office building in Dublin's south docks, which will show a net return of around 5 per cent when a number of rent reviews are completed.

The Irish fund, now part of the Bank of Ireland Group, paid in excess of €26 million – more than €1 million above the guide price – for the high-profile investment which attracted keen bidding from Irish and overseas funds.

The purchase will bring to over €730 million the value of the property fund held by New Ireland.

Last year it rose in value by 30 per cent. About 22 per cent of the assets are in Ireland with the balance in the UK, Europe and the US.

New Ireland recently bought one of the original office buildings in the IFSC, 5 George’s Dock, for €40 million and the JD Sports retail building at 43/44 Mary Street for over €15 million.

Tenants

The six-storey Anchorage overlooking the River Liffey at the junction of Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and Lime Street is one of the first office blocks in the docklands to achieve a rent of €538 per sq m (€50 per sq ft).

Walkers, a global legal firm specialising in finance, is already paying that rent for the penthouse level and with the rental terms for its other office space at first and second floors at around €322 per sq m (€30 per s q ft) and due to be reviewed it will be no surprise if it is also increased. Walkers are already paying an overall rent of €465,149 per annum.

D’Amico, a global shipping company, has agreed a 20-year lease on the third floor at a rent of €384,127.These leases are subject to break clauses in 2018 and 2123.

Bloomberg, the software and media giant, occupies the fourth floor also on a 20-year lease at €349,380. It has a break option in 2018 subject to 12 months' notice. The overall rent roll for the block is €1.25 million, reflecting an average rent of €505 per sq m or €47.20 per sq ft. There are nine car parking spaces to the rear.

At ground floor is Café Parigi, an Italian style café/restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and evening meals.

The distinctive block with glass curtain walling and dark stone panels extends to 2,475 per sq m (26,600 sq ft)and at the €26 million selling price equates to a capital value of around €10,505 per sq m (€975 per sq ft)

‘Unique appeal’

Peter Flanagan

of BNP Paribas Real Estate, who handled the sale for two Dublin businessmen, said the block had held a “unique appeal” among Irish institutions, UK and German funds and private family investors because of its waterfront south docks location, build quality and manageable lot size.

Joe Bohan of agents HWBC, who advised State Street Global Advisors – asset managers to New Ireland – said the high spec finish and the smaller than usual floor plates of 5,000 sq m (5,382 sq ft) were not generally available in much larger blocks along the south docklands.

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan is the former commercial-property editor of The Irish Times