The Central Bank is to build a new headquarters in Dublin. The bank has signed the heads of an agreement with NAMA to buy a partly built office on North Wall Quay for €7m.

The 20,000 square metre building was originally intended as the headquarters for Anglo Irish Bank.

On final completion of the deal, the Central Bank will tender for a construction company to finish the building.

The project is expected to be one of the biggest construction contracts in prospect next year. 

Finishing the building should take about 18 months, with a further six months for interior fit-out.

The Central Bank hopes to begin moving staff into the new headquarters from mid 2015 onwards.

The bank has not disclosed an estimate of the cost of completing the building in advance of the tender competition. 

The Central Bank has increased its staff significantly since the financial crisis, particularly in bank supervision, and it now numbers some 1,400 people.

The staff are currently spread over six locations - three in Dame Street, including the bank's iconic tower building, which provides some 7,500 metres of office space - an office tower near Harcourt Street and at Spencer Dock in the IFSC. It also has a currency centre in Sandyford.

The bank plans to move all staff, except those who work in the currency centre into a single office location. It says a cost analysis it has conducted shows that developing and moving into a new single headquarters would be cheaper than continuing with the current arrangements.

As well as cost savings, it believes there will be efficiency gains from a single location.

The Central Bank says it will conduct a consultation process with residents and businesses in the Dame Street area about the future uses of the current bank headquarters. Final contract will be subject to some planning matters being resolved related to access roads on the site.

NAMA has welcomed the sale of the building. Its chief executive Brendan McDonagh said the agency had prioritised the sale of this particular asset over the past 18 months and had engaged with a number of interested parties during that time

"We're delighted with the deal that has been concluded with the Central Bank of Ireland and we are very happy with the price secured for the asset. We are very happy now to have concluded the process and look forward to the Central Bank completing the building which will greatly enhance the whole landscape of the Dublin Docklands," he added.