Union Investment has acquired Ballast House in Dublin, a mixed-use property combining offices and retail units across 2,700m² 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 c.€27m.
At the time of the acquisition, Ballast House was fully let on long-term leases. Some 1,550m² 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 900m², and Londis, which occupies 250m².
“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,” said Martin Schellein, head of Investment Management Europe at Union Investment Real Estate. “The dynamic Dublin office market continues to offer exciting investment opportunities after a record year in 2018.”