Ulster Bank HQ expected to attract UK financial institutions

Redeveloped 1GQ building on Liffey may be targeted by firms seeking post-Brexit base

A substantial waterfront office building about to be redeveloped on George’s Quay in Dublin 2 will be of interest to financial institutions considering relocating from London to Dublin following the Brexit vote.

The newly renamed 1GQ, which served as Ulster Bank's Dublin headquarters since the 1990s, occupies a prime position overlooking the Liffey and the Custom House at the gateway to the south docks.

The existing block is to be stripped out and modernised in line with the best in the city, while the railings area at the front of the building is to be opened up to accommodate a large new landscaped plaza and a striking five-storey glazed extension.

The redevelopment will increase the floor area from 10,219sq m (110,000sq ft) to 12,401sq m (133,487sq ft) over five levels and allow Irish Life to move the building into the top league with a BER rating of A3 as well as an international LEED Platinum rating.

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The upgrading will include on-site renewable energy arrangements, an energy-efficient facade, rainwater harvesting and enhanced day lighting and interior air quality.

Reception area

The upper storeys of the new glass extension will create light-filled floor plates of about 2,600sq m (28,000sq ft). Tenants are also likely to be impressed by a new double-height reception area extending to almost 371sq m (4,000sq ft) and a fully-glazed 13 person lift overlooking George’s Quay Plaza.

The basement will also appeal to tenants as it has more than 100 parking spaces, secure bicycle parking and 14 showers with locker-room drying facilities.

Deirdre Costello of agent JLL is to handle the letting of the remodelled block which will be offered for letting to a single tenant at €592 per sq m (€55 per sq ft). The building will be ready for fit-out next May and is already attracting interest from a number of potential occupiers.

Deirdre Hayes of Irish Life Investment Managers said the development was well-timed as it was "one of the only office buildings available for tenant fit-out" in Q2 2017.

“1GQ presents the opportunity for an occupier to locate in a visionary office building in the best location in the city at the heart of the financial district and hub of public transport infrastructure. We are delighted to be working on such a prestigious landmark development which will rival the best the city has to offer,” Ms Hayes said.

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

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