Belfast Telegraph

Loan gives property firm green light on old U2 studio

By Paul O'Donoghue

Irish property investment company Hibernia REIT is borrowing €46.7m (£34m) from Deutsche Bank to develop the iconic Windmill Lane site, once home to a recording studio used by U2.

The company has formed a joint venture with an affiliate of American investment firm Starwood Capital to develop the project.

They aim to develop over 120,000 sq ft of offices, around 7,000 sq ft of retail, and 15 residential units at the Dublin site, which is due to be completed in late 2017.

The arrangement with Deutsche has a term of three years and an option to extend for a further year. It is secured on the Windmill Lane property.

Hibernia said the facility will be used to fund the development of the one acre site.

Hibernia REIT, which only began trading before Christmas, agreed terms to buy the site on Windmill Lane from Starwood in June 2014 for €7.5m (£5.5m).

As part of the deal, Starwood was granted an option to buy back in as a 50:50 joint venture partner at purchase price plus a return of 7%, plus costs incurred by Hibernia.

Starwood said it will pay €4.9m (£3.6m) for its share in the joint venture, to be known as "Windmill Lane Partnership", to which ownership of the site will transfer. All future income and expenditure will be shared equally.

The site held U2's studios at Windmill Lane but they were taken over by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority a decade ago.

As part of that deal, U2 was to get a studio in the planned 'U2 Tower' on Britain Quay. However, that has not been built.

The Windmill Lane studios, located in Dublin's south inner city, was the site for a host of top international music acts who recorded tracks going back to the 1970s.

Belfast Telegraph