DUBLIN, Ireland – The US Embassy in Dublin is poised to finalize a deal to purchase the old Jury’s Hotel site in Ballsbridge, a move that will see the embassy investing nearly $700 million (€641 million) in a new building. The US State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) recently informed the US Congress of its intention to acquire the former hotel for $171 million. Situated across the road from the embassy’s current location on Elgin Road, the 4.2-acre site was previously home to Jury’s Hotel and later became the Ballsbridge Hotel.
The Jury’s Hotel site was sold along with Berkeley Court to developer Sean Dunne for a record €240 million in 2005. Developer Joe O’Reilly’s Chartered Land purchased the hotels from Dunne’s lender, Ulster Bank, in 2015 for €170 million. Earlier this year, reports emerged that US diplomats were zeroing in on the former hotel as the new embassy base, contingent upon Dublin City Council rezoning the site for office use.
The need for a new embassy location has been on the radar for over a decade, as the Elgin Road building where the embassy is currently situated can no longer accommodate its needs. US Ambassador to Ireland, Claire Cronin, described the acquisition of the new site as a “significant milestone” that reflects the enduring bond between the US and Ireland. Cronin expressed hope that the new embassy would serve as a symbol of strengthening ties between the two nations for future generations.
Following the completion of the purchase, the hotel building will be demolished by the seller, Chartered Land. The US Embassy has stated that once the acquisition is finalized, the planning and construction process for the new embassy building will commence. The deal between the embassy and Chartered Land was facilitated by Savills Ireland, a popular real estate broker.
It is estimated that the total costs associated with purchasing the site and designing, building, and furnishing the new embassy in Ballsbridge will amount to $688.8 million (€629.4 million), according to the notification sent by the US State Department to Congress.
Diplomatic activities will continue at the existing Elgin Road building until the new embassy is ready for occupation. The embassy emphasized the historical significance of the Elgin Road base, built in the early 1960s and designed by American architect John M. Johansen. The OBO and the US Embassy have committed to collaborating with local partners to develop a suitable plan for the site once the embassy is relocated.