AIB signs lease for Dublin city-cen­tre head­quar­ters

The Irish Times - Business - - FRONT PAGE - CHAR­LIE TAY­LOR and JOE BREN­NAN

AIB has signed a 20-year lease to move its cor­po­rate head­quar­ters to the cen­tre of Dublin from Balls­bridge from 2019.

About 800 em­ploy­ees, un­der­stood to in­clude chief ex­ec­u­tive Bernard Byrne and some of his lead­er­ship team, will trans­fer to the 115,000sq ft land­mark of­fice build­ing on Molesworth Street be­ing de­vel­oped by Ir­ish prop­erty fund Iput. The 71 per cent State-owned bank will con­tinue to use its Bank­cen­tre com­plex in Balls­bridge in Dublin 4, where 4,000 of the group’s 10,400 staff are based, for the “ma­jor­ity of our head-of­fice teams”, the lender said in a state­ment.

“Molesworth Street is the heart of the emerg­ing busi­ness dis­trict in Dublin.

“This lo­ca­tion po­si­tions AIB in the cen­tre of the city and en­ables us to en­hance en­gage­ment with our cus­tomers and share­hold­ers,” said Mr Byrne.

Re­de­vel­op­ment

Iput, which also owns an­other prop­erty on the same street, ac­quired the orig­i­nal build­ing in March 2013 for €18 mil­lion. Re­de­vel­op­ment of the site started last year and is due for com­ple­tion early next year with a fi­nal con­struc­tion cost of €45 mil­lion.

The seven-floor prop­erty is the largest re­de­vel­op­ment project un­der­taken by Iput so far. Once com­pleted, it is ex­pected to de­liver an in­come yield on cost for the fund of 11 per cent and a profit on cost of 129 per cent. “The com­ple­tion of this ma­jor let­ting to AIB means we have now fully pre-let all of our de­vel­op­ment projects, bring­ing our to­tal lettings for the year to date 2017 to 400,000sq ft, gen­er­at­ing €16 mil­lion in new rent for our share­hold­ers in 2017,” said Iput chief ex­ec­u­tive Niall Gaffney.

Iput’s port­fo­lio com­prises 95 prop­er­ties and has a com­bined net as­set value (NAV) of €2.2 bil­lion. The group said con­tracted an­nual rental in­come for 2017 is ex­pected to ex­ceed €102 mil­lion.

The Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Union (FSU) said it is seek­ing a “com­pre­hen­sive agree­ment on staff re­lo­ca­tions”, as the Iput of­fice deal is the lat­est in a se­ries of sim­i­lar an­nounce­ments by the bank.

“In re­cent months we have seen sig­nif­i­cant move­ment of staff be­tween lo­ca­tions in Sandy­ford, Swords and Naas. There were se­ri­ous in­for­ma­tion deficits and other is­sues sur­round­ing these moves.

“These can­not be re­peated again,” said Billy Bar­rett, se­nior in­dus­trial re­la­tions of­fi­cer with the FSU.

AIB chief ex­ec­u­tive Bernard Byrne: mov­ing to Molesworth Street

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