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McKillen jnr pulls out of St Stephen’s Green block deals

Oakmount to pursue scaled-back plan for high-end hotel at Topshop’s former flagship premises

A plan by Oakmount, the company headed up by Paddy McKillen jnr and Matt Ryan, to build a new high-end hotel at St Stephen’s Green looks set to be scaled back significantly after the developer pulled back from acquiring three properties included as part of its original plan.

The Irish Times understands Oakmount has withdrawn from the purchase of the home of the former Hibernian United Services Club at 8 St Stephen’s Green, as well as two other transactions involving two adjacent buildings.

As reported by The Irish Times in February, McKillen and Ryan had been progressing individual deals for 8, 4 and 5 St Stephen’s Green with a view to assembling a large site for a hotel to be operated as part of their Press Up Hospitality Group.

Oakmount already owns UK fashion retailer Topshop’s former flagship premises at 6-7 St Stephen’s Green, having paid more than €17 million to acquire the property last year. It is understood the developer’s plans for a hotel will now be confined to this site alone. The property, which has lain largely dormant since the departure of Topshop, is set to come back into use shortly as the latest location for Irish flexible workspace provider Grafter.


While McKillen’s purchase of 8 St Stephen’s Green will not now proceed, The Irish Times understands the building, widely acknowledged as one Dublin’s finest Georgian properties, is already the subject of an offer from another party. The property, now home to the Dublin headquarters of Axa subsidiary the XL Group, comprises a substantial four-storey over-basement townhouse dating from about 1770.

The building, which was offered to the market by agent Cushman & Wakefield last September with the benefit of vacant possession at a guide price of €20 million, extends to a total of 2,640sq m (28,418sq ft) of lift-serviced office space, a gym, showers and a large outdoor terrace. The property’s original cornicing, sash windows and shutters, ornate fireplaces, exposed brickwork, stained glass and ceiling roses have all been fully restored.

In the case of number 5, Oakmount’s decision not to proceed with its purchase won’t have any immediate impact on its owner, Aviva Ireland, as the building, while vacant, hadn’t been on the market prior to the developer’s unsolicited approach.

Number 4 St Stephen’s Green has now been returned to the market by agent JLL. The property, a four-storey over-basement building, was offered for sale in October 2019 at a guide price of €4.25 million.

The ground floor and basement of number 4 are in use and trading as Insomnia Coffee Company. The company occupies the premises on a 10-year lease, which dates from 2021. The three upper levels are in office use throughout.

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times