An Post has agreed to lease an additional floor at the Exo – Dublin’s tallest office building. The agreement of the deal brings the State postal service provider’s footprint at the building to a total of 7,364sq m (83,572sq ft) across six floors. An Post is expected to take up occupancy of its new space in March.
The building’s joint letting agents, Savills and CBRE, say that there is “active interest” from prospective occupiers in the Exo’s remaining 8,083sq m (87,000sq ft) of office accommodation. The available space comprises three floors extending to approximately 1,672sq m (18,000sq ft) each, and six tower floors of approximately 520sq m (5,600sq ft) each. The tower floors offer uninterrupted 360-degree views of the city.
Developed by EPISO4, a fund managed by Tristan Capital Partners and its local operating partners, SW3 Captal, the Exo comprises a total of 15,847sq m (170,572sq ft) of grade A office space distributed over 17 storeys. Upon completion the overall development will comprise workspace for in excess of 1,950 people, with a 1,000sq m (10,764sq ft) roof garden.
While the building, at 73m (239ft), bears the distinction of being Dublin’s tallest office block, it is markedly lower in height than the “Watchtower”, the 120m (394ft) structure that developer Harry Crosbie had intended to deliver on its site prior to the financial crash. Had Crosbie’s plan come to fruition the Watchtower would have been Ireland’s tallest building.
Nama provided the initial funding for the Exo building’s design and planning permission, before selling the development via receivers in December 2017 to SW3 and Tristan Capital Partners. While no details were provided at the time in relation to the price paid for the Exo site, it is understood the purchasers agreed to provide between €70 million and €80 million in development finance as part of the forward-funding arrangement. The construction of the building was directed by main contractors, Bennett Construction.
An Post made the decision to relocate its operations to the Exo in order to facilitate an extensive refurbishment of the GPO, the building which famously served as the headquarters for the 1916 Rising. The O’Connell Street property has not been subject to any form of substantive works since the 1980s, and requires significant mechanical and engineering repairs as well as a total interior redesign, according to An Post.
The Exo, meanwhile, offers the most modern and sustainable office accommodation, and is a LEED-Platinum certified NZEB (nearly zero energy building) building. The property also boasts Wired Platinum accreditation and a building energy rating (Ber) of A3.
The Exo building is located at Point Square, immediately adjacent to the 3 Arena, which hosts more than 100 concerts a year, in addition to the 252-bedroom Gibson Hotel, Odeon Cinema and numerous food and beverage operators, including Starbucks, Eddie Rockets, Ruby’s, Freshii and Salad Box.
Prior to its selection of the Exo for its new headquarters, An Post looked at four other potential locations for its GPO operations, with Ballymore’s Dublin Landings scheme, Bennett Construction’s North Docks development, Dublin Airport Central, and the Clerys Quarter – the scheme developed by Europa Capital and its local partners, Derek McGrath’s Core Capital and Paddy McKillen jnr’s Oakmount – all understood to have come in for consideration.
Commenting on An Post’s decision to increase its footprint at the Exo, Tom O’Mahony, director at SW3 Capital, said: “We are pleased to see An Post enhancing and expanding on their ambitious plans for the Exo building. It is exciting that this landmark building will be the home of a national icon. The buildings design intent makes it futureproofed for all of its tenant’s future needs.”
James Brodie, managing director of portfolio and asset management at Tristan Capital Partners, added: “An Post leasing additional space at the Exo is testament to its attractiveness. The building’s high-quality workspace and outstanding ESG credentials are complemented by its surrounding amenities and the area’s excellent transport provision.