25 June 2019
Union Investment acquires Ballast House in Dublin
Mixed-use property in city centre / Acquisition for UniInstitutional European Real Estate
Union Investment has acquired Ballast House in Dublin, a mixed-use property combining offices and retail units across 2,700 sq m of rental space. The property occupies a striking corner location on Aston Quay/Westmoreland Street and is one of Ireland’s best-known buildings due to featuring prominently in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses. The façade dates from 1866 and was retained when the historic building was demolished and rebuilt in 1981. The property was extensively upgraded in 2018. The vendor is Goodbody Platform ICAV. The purchase price is around EUR 27 million and the property will be added to the holdings of institutional open-ended real estate fund UniInstitutional European Real Estate. This is the first acquisition for the fund in Ireland. Its broadly diversified portfolio is now spread across 16 different national markets in Europe. Union Investment was advised on commercial aspects of the deal by BNP Paribas Real Estate and received legal advice from William Fry.
“After previously acquiring the Shannon Building on Burlington Road and the office buildings at 4 and 5 Grand Canal Square, both of which were major transactions, we are now making our first medium-sized investment in Dublin. This is an excellent example of how we are able to leverage the opportunities offered by the diverse investment profiles of our real estate funds for transactions. The dynamic Dublin office market continues to offer exciting investment opportunities after a record year in 2018."
Martin Schellein, Head of Investment Management Europe at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH
At the time of acquisition, Ballast House was fully let on long-term leases. Some 1,550 sq m of office space on the five upper floors is used by Pembroke Hall, an established provider of flexible office solutions in Ireland. The space on the ground floor and in the basement is split between two retailers: Carrolls Irish Gifts, which occupies 900 sq m, and Londis, which occupies 250 sq m. Following the acquisition of Ballast House, Union Investment now holds four commercial properties worth around EUR 430 million in Dublin.
For Union Investment Institutional Property GmbH