Kennedy Wilson Sells Dublin Office Asset for $165M

The company plans to use the proceeds from its sale of Baggot Plaza for new acquisitions and developments.
Baggot Plaza
Baggot Plaza. Image courtesy of Kennedy Wilson

After an extensive redevelopment dating back to 2013, Kennedy Wilson has sold its Dublin office property, Baggot Plaza. Deka Immobilien, the specialist real estate investments arm of the Deka Group, purchased the building for $165.4 million.

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The 129,300-square-foot Grade A office property is located in Dublin’s city center, at 27-33 Baggot Street Upper. Baggot Plaza is fully occupied by Bank of Ireland’s Customer Propositions office and its insurance division, Bank of Ireland Life.

Kennedy Wilson acquired the office property in 2013 as part of a larger non-performing loan portfolio. Built in the 1970s, Baggot Plaza originally comprised 91,600 square feet, but Kennedy Wilson pursued a major redevelopment process that used the building’s existing frame and extended the floorplates, which added 37,700 square feet and a triple-height atrium.  

Baggot Plaza. Image courtesy of Kennedy Wilson

Kennedy Wilson also pursued several sustainability and design elements for the redevelopment of Baggot Plaza, including retaining 88 percent of the existing structure, increasing the size of the windows and incorporating a vegetated green roof. As a result of these efforts, the improved office property achieved LEED Gold certification in January 2017.

After the repositioning, Bank of Ireland signed a 25-year lease for the entirety of Baggot Plaza in May 2015. The lease represented approximately 47.50 euros ($55) per square foot and resulted in a stabilized yield on cost of 8.6 percent.

Ali Rohan, Kennedy Wilson Europe’s head of Ireland, said in prepared remarks that Baggot Plaza was an opportunistic acquisition where the company had to consider the market timing potential of pursuing the comprehensive refurbishment or going with a demolition and rebuilding strategy.

Investing in Ireland and the UK

Despite the sale of Baggot Plaza, Kennedy Wilson has maintained a growing portfolio in the U.K. and Ireland for some time. The company explained that the proceeds from the sale of Baggot Plaza will be recycled into new opportunities, including more European acquisitions and developments.

In December 2019, Kennedy Wilson purchased a 348,000-square-foot office campus in the London submarket of Weybridge. The company and its equity partner acquired the five-building asset for approximately $179 million. On the finance side, Kennedy Wilson recently partnered with Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. to form a $2 billion debt platform that covers the Western U.S., Ireland and the U.K.