Waterloo Road block in Dublin 4 to let at €532 per sq m after upgrade

Former St Martin’s House on Waterloo Road and Upper Baggot Street built in 1960s


The high-profile 1960s office building, originally known as St Martin’s House and recently renamed Waterloo Exchange, at the intersection of Waterloo Road, Upper Baggot Street and Pembroke Road in Dublin’s south inner city, is to be extensively upgraded before being offered for letting from the end of September.

Paul Hanly of Knight Frank is to launch a marketing campaign for the available 3,994sq m (43,000sq ft) on the second to fifth floors. The OPW will continue to occupy 1,022sq m (11,000sq ft) on the ground floor under a lease which runs until 2022. Its lease facilitates the Charities Regulatory Authority and the Mental Health Commission.

BKD Architects are to oversee the remodelling and upgrading of the office space as well as the main reception area which will have two 13-person lifts. A new four-pipe fan coil air-conditioning system is also to be installed along with new lighting, toilets, showers and a cycle bay. The next tenants will be able to rent 90 of the 156 car parking spaces in the block at the new benchmark figure of €3,800 per car.

Sought-after area

Knight Frank is quoting a rent of €532 per sq m (€49.50 per sq ft) which should be easily achievable because of the comprehensive upgrading planned for the block and its location in one of the most convenient and sought-after areas of the city. The availability of a range of restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels and gyms in the immediately area will obviously appeal to workers moving to the block.

While Knight Frank will be hoping to let the four available floors to one tenant, they will also be open to offers for individual floors or may even sub-divide floors once the right tenants show interest.

The former St Martin’s House, with an overall floor area of 6,967sq m (75,000sq ft) including retail units at street level and an unusually large allocation of car spaces for a city centre block, was sold in 2012 to Davy Real Estate for €22.5 million.

The acquisition is now seen as one of the best-value investments in the big sell-off of distressed assets. An adjoining office block at 24/27 Upper Baggot Street is currently being modernised in preparation for the arrival of Bank of Ireland staff. Davy Real Estate is managing real estate assets across Ireland with a valuation of over €1.15 billion.