SW3 Capital to sell landmark St Stephen’s Green building

Building used as Department of Justice and Equality HQ for sale for €20m

94 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin: the original Centenary Church of Ireland, currently headquarters of the Department of Justice, is for sale for €20 million.

94 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin: the original Centenary Church of Ireland, currently headquarters of the Department of Justice, is for sale for €20 million.

 

One of the most distinctive buildings on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green, the headquarters of the Department of Justice and Equality, is to be offered for sale at the request of London-based investment group SW3 Capital.

Dessie Kilkenny of selling agents Savills is quoting €20 million for the building at 94 St Stephen’s Green, which last changed hands in October 2014 at €16.5 million.

A series of relatively modern buildings, developed behind the former facade of the Centenary Church of Ireland, are let to the Office of Public Works under two co-terminus leases at a combined rent of €1.02 million per annum – equating to €493/sq m (€45.85/sq ft).

Investors planning to pitch for the prestigious property will be well aware of opportunities to redevelop and extend the building after the leases run out in June 2018.

Otherwise, the OPW might well decide to buy in and upgrade the block, which is constantly used by State agencies for high-profile meetings and receptions for overseas dignitaries. However, the odds are that the OPW will leave it to an outside developer to acquire and modernise the facilities and perhaps lease them back to the State at an appropriate rent.

Replacement tenant

The complex extends to 2,067sq m (22,249sq ft) and could easily be enlarged by adding a new penthouse floor.

Even if the OPW decides against renewing the leases, there should be little difficulty in finding a replacement tenant among perhaps some of the Brexit fall-out companies or international embassies seeking a high-profile location on St Stephen’s Green.

Another positive factor is the location immediately adjacent to the headquarters of KPMG.

The front section includes storage facilities at basement level and offices on the ground, first and second floors. There are additional offices at four levels to the side of the main building. A separate four-storey over-basement period building, also included in the sale, could be used as a single townhouse or divided into three stylish apartments and one duplex unit.

The residential facilities are accessed from Stokes Place. The basement area also includes 20 car-parking spaces.

The €20 million asking price reflects an initial yield of close to 5 per cent and a capital value of €899/sq ft.

State income

Mr Kilkenny said it was extremely rare for investors to be able to avail of a strong State income coupled with the prospects of upgrading the property in the near future.

“I expect that the prestige and history associated with the property will draw an array of investor types, owner-occupiers and developers to consider the opportunity,” he said.

SW3 Capital, which was set up after the property crash by Adam P Rooney, Edward BJ Truman and Thomas O’Mahony, managed to buy a range of city centre investment properties at heavily discounted prices.

These include the Eir company offices and network management at Citywest Business Park; Dublin Business School on Aungier Street; Twilfit House at the junction of Jervis and Upper Abbey streets; the Tesco Express at College Green; and a mixed-use block at the corner of Dawson Street and St Stephen’s Green.