Belfast Telegraph

US and Hong Kong firms cleared for a major transformation of Dublin bank's former HQ

By Ronald Quinlan

US real estate giant Hines and the Hong Kong-based Peterson Group have been given the green light by the Republic's planning authorities to proceed with their ambitious plans for the redevelopment of the Central Bank's former headquarters on Dame Street in Dublin city centre.

Upon completion, the Central Plaza scheme will include some 73,100 sq ft of commercial office space across eight floors. The new office space will be open plan, with breakout meeting spaces.

The original Central Bank building's six-metre-high entrance lobby will be accessible from the plaza via a grand staircase through a 15-metre wide glazed facade with double-height revolving doors. Hines and its partners expect Central Plaza to become one of the most vibrant areas in Dublin city centre through the creation of 33,000 sq ft of retail, restaurants and cafes at street and basement level.

The existing Central Bank plaza is also being expanded to create a new streetscape towards College Green and along Fownes Street and Cope Street, creating a link between the key retail and tourist destinations of Grafton Street, College Green, Trinity College and Temple Bar.

Central Plaza is part of an overall masterplan that includes adjoining properties at Nos 6-8 College Green, No 9 College Green, and both the Annex and Commercial buildings on Dame Street.

The 12,500 sq ft office component of Nos 6-8 College Green was pre-leased to Amtrust Financial last year. The company will begin occupying the space in the third quarter of this year. The 10,000 sq ft ground floor retail unit at Nos 6-8 is scheduled for completion at the same time and the scaffolding on this building will be removed in the coming weeks.

Hines has engaged BNP Paribas as letting agents of the retail and hospitality offering for Central Plaza and is attracting significant interest from major international and domestic retailers, as well as food and beverage operators. Knight Frank is the office agent for the project.

Brian Moran, senior managing director of Hines Ireland, said: "With planning permission now granted it means full steam ahead for this exciting city centre project that will accommodate over 1,300 office professionals and create more than 300 full and part-time retail and hospitality jobs."

Belfast Telegraph

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