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Singapore investor to acquire Dublin docks office scheme for €240m

Mapletree Investments closing in on deal with Pat Crean’s Marlet for Sorting Office

An artist’s impression of The Sorting Office which is being developed by the Marlet Property Group

A Singapore-headquartered real estate investment trust is closing in on a deal to buy the Sorting Office, an 18,766sq m (202,000sq ft) office scheme being developed in the Dublin docklands by Pat Crean’s Marlet Property Group.

Mapletree Investments is set to pay €240 million for the seven-storey office block, which is now under construction on the site on An Post’s former sorting depot near Grand Canal Dock. The sale does not include the 56 apartments Marlet is delivering as part of the wider Sorting Office development.

Efforts to contact Mr Crean for comment were unsuccessful.

Mapletree Investments is a significant player in the global real estate market with operations in the US, Australia, Japan, China, India, and the UK. The company currently owns and manages some €30 billion of properties including office, retail residential, industrial and student accommodation

The sale of the Sorting Office meanwhile will deliver a significant return for Marlet and its finance partners, M&G Investments. The site was acquired from An Post in 2015 in a transaction valued at €40 million.

Major coup

Designed by Henry J Lyons architects, the development is located on the corner of Cardiff Lane and Hanover Street East, directly opposite the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and within close proximity to the European headquarters of several global technology giants including Google, Facebook, and Airbnb.

The deal represents the second major coup for Marlet this year. Only last month the company completed the €145 million sale of its Charlemont Exchange office scheme to a group of Korean investors managed by Vestas Investment Management.

The group has acquired Blocks A-C, which recently underwent a full refurbishment, as well as Block D, which is currently being refurbished. The acquisition is structured as a purchase of Phase 1 and a forward commitment to purchase Phase 2 upon completion.

Marlet assembled the Charlemont Exchange development through the acquisition of Charlemont Blocks A, B and C in March 2017, followed by the purchase in December 2017 of Charlemont Block D. The combined footprint of the four-building scheme was extended from its original 8,822sq m (94,968sq ft) to 11,266sq m (121,270sq ft) in the course of its refurbishment.

The attractiveness of the project to its potential buyers was significantly enhanced last October – shortly in advance of its sale – after Marlet agreed a 20-year lease with WeWork, the world’s biggest provider of flexible work space, for all four blocks at a rent of €55 per square foot.

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