US and Hong Kong firms cleared for a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion of Dublin bank’s for­mer HQ

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY RON­ALD QUIN­LAN

US real es­tate gi­ant Hines and the Hong Kong-based Peter­son Group have been given the green light by the Repub­lic’s plan­ning au­thor­i­ties to pro­ceed with their am­bi­tious plans for the re­de­vel­op­ment of the Cen­tral Bank’s for­mer head­quar­ters on Dame Street in Dublin city cen­tre.

Upon com­ple­tion, the Cen­tral Plaza scheme will in­clude some 73,100 sq ft of com­mer­cial of­fice space across eight floors. The new of­fice space will be open plan, with break­out meet­ing spa­ces.

The orig­i­nal Cen­tral Bank build­ing’s six-me­tre-high en­trance lobby will be ac­ces­si­ble from the plaza via a grand stair­case through a 15-me­tre wide glazed fa­cade with dou­ble-height re­volv­ing doors. Hines and its part­ners ex­pect Cen­tral Plaza to be­come one of the most vi­brant ar­eas in Dublin city cen­tre through the cre­ation of 33,000 sq ft of re­tail, restau­rants and cafes at street and base­ment level.

The ex­ist­ing Cen­tral Bank plaza is also be­ing ex­panded to cre­ate a new streetscape to­wards Col­lege Green and along Fownes Street and Cope Street, cre­at­ing a link be­tween the key re­tail and tourist des­ti­na­tions of Grafton Street, Col­lege Green, Trin­ity Col­lege and Tem­ple Bar.

Cen­tral Plaza is part of an over­all mas­ter­plan that in­cludes ad­join­ing properties at Nos 6-8 Col­lege Green, No 9 Col­lege Green, and both the An­nex and Com­mer­cial build­ings on Dame Street.

The 12,500 sq ft of­fice com­po­nent of Nos 6-8 Col­lege Green was pre-leased to Amtrust Fi­nan­cial last year. The com­pany will be­gin oc­cu­py­ing the space in the third quar­ter of this year. The 10,000 sq ft ground floor re­tail unit at Nos 6-8 is sched­uled for com­ple­tion at the same time and the scaf­fold­ing on this build­ing will be re­moved in the com­ing weeks.

Hines has en­gaged BNP Paribas as let­ting agents of the re­tail and hos­pi­tal­ity of­fer­ing for Cen­tral Plaza and is at­tract­ing sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est from ma­jor in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic re­tail­ers, as well as food and bev­er­age op­er­a­tors. Knight Frank is the of­fice agent for the project.

Brian Moran, se­nior man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Hines Ire­land, said: “With plan­ning per­mis­sion now granted it means full steam ahead for this ex­cit­ing city cen­tre project that will ac­com­mo­date over 1,300 of­fice pro­fes­sion­als and cre­ate more than 300 full and part-time re­tail and hos­pi­tal­ity jobs.”

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