REO to sell Montevetro building to Google

Friday 18 February 2011 10.56
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Barrow Street deal - Google has 200 vacancies
Barrow Street deal - Google has 200 vacancies
Montevetro building - Google buys office block from REO
Montevetro building - Google buys office block from REO

Real Estate Opportunities has agreed the sale of the Montevetro office building on Barrow Street - Dublin's tallest commercial office building - to Google for €99.9m in cash.

Discussions between Treasury Holdings, a majority shareholder in REO, and Google began last year about Google taking a lease of the building but late last year developed into discussions for an outright sale. The company's existing Dublin facility is located in Barrow Street.

REO's development of the 15-storey building, which started in March 2008 and completed last month, comprises 210,000 square feet of prime office space in Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2.

The three basement levels provide 80 car parking spaces and extensive additional bicycle and motor cycle spaces.

'The transaction is one of the largest sales of commercial property in Ireland in several years and the company believes it has achieved a very good price in the current market environment. Google is an iconic name globally and its decision to buy Montevetro is good news for Ireland and we wish them every success in their new home,' said REO Chairman Ray Horney.

'We are at capacity in our EMEA headquarters in Barrow Street and the additional space will allow us to relocate some teams to Montevetro and to create an even more spacious working environment for Googlers in our existing building,' commented John Herlihy, head of Google in Ireland.

'Acquiring Montevetro also means we have the space and flexibility to support our future operations,' he added.

Google's director of online operations Ronan Harris has told RTÉ that the company currently has 200 vacancies. The internet search engine employs 2,000 in Dublin. It hopes to add more jobs during the year as part of a European expansion in addition to those advertised today.

NAMA has welcomed today's deal. 'Based on the sale price achieved, all NAMA's outlay - acquisition price and further investment - has been recovered,' said NAMA chairman Frank Daly.

'It is an excellent example of NAMA's ability to enhance the value of its assets and will be seen as a positive sign for the Irish commercial property market,' he added.

REO also said this morning that the oil and gas exploration company Tullow Oil is to lease a total of 48,000 sq ft in the Central Park development in Leopardstown, Dublin.

Central Park is home to a range of blue chip clients including Vodafone, Volkswagen Bank, Lease Plan and Merrill Lynch.