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Trailfinders top bidder for its own HQ on Dawson Street

Further signs of fast growing property values in Dublin’s Dawson Street emerged this week with the sale of the Trailfinders building for a full 60% above the guide price.

David Carroll of Bannon is delighted to have advised Trailfinders on their acquisition.

Agent Cushman & Wakefield initially invited offers of more than €7.75 million for the holiday booking premises at 4/5 Dawson Street. But with five different parties pitching for the site, it took a full four months to complete the sale at a figure around €12.4 million.

The opening bid matched the quoted price of €7.75 million, but thereafter it was a long drawn-out procedure, with most of the bids fixed at €100,000.

The successful bidder was none other than the sitting tenant, Trailfinders, which was challenged in the final rounds by a wealthy private investor.

Earlier in the marketing campaign it looked like the property might fall to BCP International and Meyer Bergman, which spent around €100 million assembling a large property portfolio centred mainly on Nassau Street and Dawson Street. The replacement buildings will have Grafton Street-style shopping facilities.

Jane Dolan of Cushman & Wakefield, who handled the sale of the Trailfinders building, said the operation’s success was down to the fact that she could sell the building by private treaty rather than inviting “best bids”.

The €12.4 million selling price is more than double the €6 million paid for the building some 20 years ago by property developer Gerry Gannon.

Trailfinders’ strong desire to hold on to the Dawson Street premises has been evident for some time. It originally agreed a 20-year lease of the ground floor and basement but has been over-holding the premises since the lease ran out in 2016.

The five-storey over-basement building has an overall floor area of 994 sq.m (10,709 sq.ft) and a rent roll of €399,360. Trailfinders has been contributing a rent of €278,500. Two other office tenants on the top floor have signed deeds of renunciation limiting their rental of the two premises to short-term leases.

The line-up of tenancies also includes a two-bedroom penthouse at the top of the building that attracts a top rent. Trailfinders will continue to have the use of five car parking spaces accessed from Dawson Lane.

The change of ownership comes around a month after Paddy McKillen jnr’s purchase of the headquarters of New Ireland Assurance a few doors away.The Press Up hospitality group will handle the reuse of the block, which is likely to end up with around 929 sq.m (10,000 sq.ft) of retail space on the ground floor.

Green Reit has already transformed part of the Dawson Street area by developing a two-dimensional landmark block at the junction of Dawson and Molesworth streets. Anchor tenants will include a branch of the London-based Ivy Collection of restaurants as well as Barclays Bank and the New York headquartered-Le Pan Quotidien bakery-restaurant.

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