Commercial Property

Google to pay over €115m to buy Treasury Building



The interior of the Treasury Building on Grand Canal Street, D2


Johnny Ronan


Johnny Ronan
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The interior of the Treasury Building on Grand Canal Street, D2

Google is close to signing a deal with developers Johnny Ronan and Paddy McKillen to acquire the Treasury Building on Dublin's Grand Canal Street for a figure in excess of €115m, the Irish Independent can reveal.

The completion of the transaction was described last night as being "imminent" by a source close to the process. Negotiations in relation to the property's sale have been underway since February of last year.

While agents CBRE had been instructed originally to handle the sale of a 33.33pc stake in the Treasury Building on behalf of Percy Nominees, it is understood Google came forward and expressed its interest in buying the 11,619 sq m (125,066 sq ft) property in its entirety for significantly more than its overall estimated valuation of €100m.

Percy Nominees bought its one-third-stake in the building when it was redeveloped in 1989 by Ambiorix, a company controlled by developer Johnny Ronan; Paddy McKillen's son, Paddy Jr; and Mr McKillen's co-director, Liam Cunningham. Mr Ronan and Mr McKillen's company continues to retain a 66.67pc interest in the Treasury Building and its overall rent roll of €5.482m per annum.

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Johnny Ronan

Google's imminent purchase of the Grand Canal St property comes just two months on from the web giant's completion of its acquisition of the entire Bolands Quay scheme. The sale of the development at a total cost of approximately €300m followed months of negotiations with Nama-appointed receiver Savills Ireland. Google's interest in buying the Bolands Quay project was first revealed by the Irish Independent last November. Upon completion, the development will comprise 36,851 sq m (396,660 sq ft) of office, residential, retail and cultural space, and be capable of accommodating up to 2,500 workers. Google's expected purchase of the Treasury Building represents another major coup for Johnny Ronan's Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE). News of the deal comes just days after this newspaper reported that Mr Ronan has entered into exclusive talks with US-headquartered tech giant, Salesforce, in relation to leasing all 46,184 sq m (500,000 sq ft) of the office space at RGRE's Spencer Place scheme in the Docklands.

While the 965 employees at Salesforce's EMEA headquarters are currently divided between offices at the Atrium Building and One Central Park in the Sandyford Business District (SBD) in south Dublin, the company's proposed move to the Docklands will give it significant scope to expand its Irish workforce. The offices at Spencer Place will have the capacity to accommodate between 4,000 and 5,000 personnel.

Elsewhere in the capital, Mr Ronan is poised to play a pivotal role in social media giant Facebook's reported plans for a 700,000 sq ft campus, capable of accommodating 5,000 employees on the site of AIB's Bank Centre headquarters in Ballsbridge.

To achieve this, Facebook is said to be looking to secure the 450,000 sq ft AIB occupies currently, as well as 325,000 sq ft of office space being developed by Ronan Group Real Estate at the front of the Bank Centre site.

Last month, Amazon hosted Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the official opening of its new EMEA headquarters at the 172,000 sq ft Vertium Building, which RGRE developed on Burlington Road in Dublin 4.

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