Subscriber OnlyCommercial Property

Johnny Ronan and Henderson Park vie for €120m Citi HQ

Developer Shane Whelan’s Westridge Real Estate also in contention for bank’s offices at 1 North Wall Quay

Johnny Ronan’s Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE), UK-headquartered private equity property manager Henderson Park, and developer Shane Whelan’s Westridge Real Estate are the three parties left in the running to acquire Citigroup’s existing European headquarters.

While the offices at 1 North Wall Quay were brought to the market by agent Knight Frank at a guide price of €120 million last March, the selection of a preferred bidder is understood to have been delayed until the global banking giant had identified and secured a location for its new headquarters.

That process is now close to being concluded following Citigroup’s recent decision to acquire a site for a reported €100 million at RGRE’s Waterfront South Central scheme. Citi is expected to pay up to a further €200 million to the Ronan Group to build out the 300,000sq ft of office space it requires for its Dublin-based workforce. The US-headquartered bank’s proposed footprint equates to roughly 70 per cent of the 430,000sq ft of office accommodation RGRE intends to develop as part of the wider mixed-use scheme it is developing next to the 3Arena in Dublin’s north docklands. Work on Citi’s new headquarters is expected to get underway in the coming weeks.

While the banking group intends to remain in occupation of its existing offices for a period of time post-sale while it completes the purchase and fit-out of its new HQ at Waterfront South Central, the purchaser of 1 North Wall Quay is expected to use that time to formulate a plan for the building’s future. A feasibility study prepared by architects Henry J Lyons in advance of the property’s disposal suggests that its current footprint of 230,000sq ft could be more than doubled to 500,000sq ft through a redevelopment of the site.

READ MORE

Number 1 North Wall Quay currently comprises a six-storey over-basement office building of approximately 230,000sq ft with 139 car-parking spaces. The property occupies a two-acre site with 125m of river frontage in the city’s thriving north docklands.

Dublin’s north docklands has emerged as a prime office location over recent years with major corporate occupiers such as Salesforce, the NTMA, AIG, the Central Bank of Ireland and A&L Goodbody all maintaining a strong presence there. Citi has been based in North Wall Quay for over 20 years.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Acting Property Editor of The Irish Times