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'No comment' from Central Bank on report of €8m deal for Anglo HQ

Bloomberg says the Central Bank has agreed to pay €8m to buy the half-built Anglo Irish Bank HQ at North Wall Quay.

The half-completed Anglo headquarters, pictured in November: it is reported today that the Central Bank has agreed to buy the building for €8 million.
The half-completed Anglo headquarters, pictured in November: it is reported today that the Central Bank has agreed to buy the building for €8 million.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE CENTRAL BANK of Ireland has declined to comment on a report that it has agreed to buy the uncompleted building in Dublin’s docklands that was intended to serve as a new headquarters for Anglo Irish Bank.

Bloomberg reports today that the Central Bank has agreed terms with the National Asset Management Agency to pay €8 million for the unfinished building on the North Wall Quay, close to the National Convention Centre. The report cited a “person familiar with the matter”.

The eight-storey complex had been up for construction by developer Liam Carroll, whose loans – from Anglo itself – were taken on by NAMA in one of its first traunches.

This evening a spokesperson for the Central Bank declined to confirm the report, saying: “We wouldn’t speculate on this.

“There’s really nothing to add, other than what we’ve already said,” she said. ”No deal has been finalised and we wouldn’t comment on any speculation in that case.”

Architect Paschal Mahoney had proposed last September that the derelict site be turned into a ‘vertical park’, carving the building into a series of terraces including walkways, a public park and a transparent top-floor meeting space.

An artist’s impression of how the ‘Trees on the Quays’ project, proposed by Paschal Mahoney, could have looked. (Image: Mahoney Architecture)

NAMA invited Mahoney to meetings for his ‘Trees on the Quays’ proposal in November, but the Irish Times reported in December that the Central Bank was considering buying the complex and completing the building to house its “growing staff of regulators”.

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Well-informed blogger NAMAwinelake reported on March 24 that a deal to sell the complex had been agreed, reporting that both the Department of Finance and NAMA had encouraged the Central Bank to buy the Anglo building instead of other properties in the area.

The blogger added that the bank’s current staff are split between three buildings – its Dame Street headquarters, which was the site of the Occupy Dame Street protests, an office building in Spencer Dock and the Iveagh Court on Harcourt Street.

Last month a group of artists established a guerrilla art exhibition on the site, but their works were stripped from the hoardings around the complex a fortnight later – perhaps indicating the prospect of a commercial sale.

A NAMA spokesman told Bloomberg he would not comment on “speculation about individual transactions”.

Read: Artists take over abandoned Anglo HQ in Dublin city centre

Gallery: Derelict Anglo HQ could become ‘vertical park’

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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