Subscriber OnlyCommercial Property

SMBC Aviation Capital seeks occupier for offices at new Dublin HQ

Leasing giant only recently assumed the lease for Fitzwilliam 28 from Slack Technologies

Less than six months after it assumed the lease from Slack Technologies for all 12,542sq m (135,000sq ft) of office space at the newly developed Fitzwilliam 28 in Dublin city centre, SMBC Aviation Capital is looking to sublet a quarter of the building.

Agent Savills Ireland has been instructed by the aviation leasing giant to offer the first and second floors of the property to prospective occupiers on a floor-by-floor basis and on flexible terms. The accommodation, which extends to 4,273sq m (46,000sq ft) in total, will be fully fitted out and available for occupation at a quoting rent of €59.50 per sq ft in the final quarter of this year.

The news of SMBC Aviation Capital’s move will surprise some, coming as it does so soon after the company’s decision to take on the long-term lease Slack Technologies committed to in early 2020 at a rent of €7.7 million a year. It is, however, reflective of the current, post-pandemic shift from full-time office-based working to the hybrid model.

Fitzwilliam 28 is one of two adjoining but independent blocks developed by ESB. The sister block to 28, Fitzwilliam 27, is owner-occupied by the utilities provider. The overall scheme is owned by Amundi Real Estate, a specialist subsidiary of Europe’s leading asset manager Amundi, a company with some €1.934 trillion in assets under management. Amundi acquired Fitzwilliam 28 for €180 million in November 2020.


Designed by the internationally acclaimed Grafton Architects and O’Mahony Pike Architects, and built by contractors PJ Hegarty & Sons, Fitzwilliam 28 occupies a prime location on Fitzwilliam Street and in the heart of Dublin’s traditional central business district. The property boasts the highest sustainability credentials as it has an A3 Ber rating along with Breeam-Excellent, Leed-Platinum and Nzeb (nearly zero energy building) certification. The scheme’s tenant amenities include car parking, bicycle parking and showers with changing, drying and locker facilities.

The available space on the building’s first and second floor extends to 1,950sq m (21,000sq ft) and 2,322sq m (25,000sq ft) respectively, and is bright thanks to the presence of floor-to-ceiling windows and a ceiling height of 2.8 metres.

Commenting on SMBC Aviation Capital’s reasons for locating its new headquarters at Fitzwilliam 28, the company’s chief operations and sustainability officer, David Swan, says: “When it came to selecting a new headquarter office for SMBC Aviation Capital, there were three main criteria we focused on. Firstly, we sought a central location, close to the central business district and well connected to transport links. Secondly, a building with best-in-class energy performance credentials was essential, as we seek to minimise our carbon footprint. Lastly, we wanted a fitting home to expand our team and to accommodate our future growth plans as a leader in the global-aircraft leasing industry. The unique design of Fitzwilliam 28 on an historic site in Dublin was a perfect match. No other building came close.”

While Fitzwilliam 28′s original tenant, Slack Technologies, had been due to take occupation of the entire building prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, that plan was abandoned following the company’s acquisition for €27.7 billion by Salesforce. The workforce collaboration specialist’s entire operations will now be located at Salesforce’s recently opened new European headquarters in Dublin’s north docklands.

Shane Duffy, director of office agency at Savills Ireland, expects the two floors now available at Fitzwilliam 28 to prove popular with prospective occupiers looking to base their office operations in what he describes as a “top-tier business location”. He says: “Fitzwilliam 28 is a marquee development that marries the charm of Georgian heritage with the conveniences of a modern workspace, designed to create an unparalleled occupier experience. With SMBC Aviation Capital choosing to set up their headquarters here, it further reinforces the development’s status.”

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Acting Property Editor of The Irish Times