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Barclays has settled on Dublin’s Dawson Street for what is expected to be its main EU hub if UK banks lose their easy access to the European trading bloc.
The bank had been scouting the city for office space since last January and has now agreed rental terms with owners Green Reit for more than half the office space of a high-profile building under construction on Dawson Street.
The planned move by Barclays to One Molesworth Street may well coincide with the opening by the London-based Caprice Holdings of a branch of The Ivy Collection of restaurants on the ground floor of the same building. The West End group, a firm fixture on London’s dining and social scene since its foundation a century ago, has agreed a rent of €500,000 per year for the primary retail area of 743sq m (8,000sq ft) on the ground floor.
The restaurant will have a distinctive street frontage on to Dawson Street featuring vertical glass fins, solid bronze and an impressive bronze anodised brise soleil. The new business will look directly across the street at another UK restaurant group, Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse & Grill.
Barclays will pay a rent of close to €645 per sq m (€60 per sq ft) for 3,716sq m (40,000sq ft) of office space, which will have a separate double-height entrance on Molesworth Street. The block was designed by Henry J Lyons and is widely expected to have one of the best fit-outs in the city.
With Barclays settling for a 40,000sq ft floor area, Green Reit will be in a strong position to pitch for higher rents for the remaining 2,914sq m (31,159sq ft) of office space in the block.
Like the retail area, the offices have been designed to deliver maximum flexibility, with bright, expansive floor plates featuring floor-to-ceiling glazing on all four sides of the building.
Barclays’ new offices will be capable of accommodating more than 400 staff. The bank’s Irish branch is currently based at Park Place, Hatch Street, Dublin 2, where it rents more than 1,393sq m (15,000sq ft).
One Molesworth Street looks set to bring in an overall rental income of around €5 million for Green Reit, which will trigger a higher-than-expected capital value because of the prestigious tenant line up, the impressive finish planned for the building and its prime location. The opening later this year of two new Luas stops on Dawson Street will further strengthen the appeal of the area.
Green Reit is spending about €30 million on developing the mixed-use building, which replaces the old headquarters of the Royal and Sun Alliance. Green bought it in 2014 for €23 million – considerably less than the €65.5 million paid for it in 2005 by Garret Kelleher’s Shelbourne Developments.