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Iconic property site once used by U2 music super group as a recording studio to be redeveloped

Irish property investment company Hibernia REIT is borrowing €46.7m (£34m) from Deutsche Bank to develop the iconic Windmill Lane site, once home to a recording studio used by U2.

Artist impression of new development, building nearest right, at Grand Canal basin edge.

The Dublin studio complex was once home to U2 as they made their early albums, with the group recording 'The Joshua Tree', 'Boy' and 'War' there. REM, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison and Elvis Costello have also all recorded there too.

The Joshua Tree Album by U2 was recorded at Windmill Lane Dublin

Windmill Lane in Dublin in September 1994. The studios are on the left. On the near left, a fan has written out in blue on the pavement the lyrics to the U2 song "One".

 The actual studios were moved out of the buildings and relocated to Ringsend some time ago. The buildings were then purchased by property investment company Hibernia REIT, who bought the loans held against the Hanover Building on Windmill Lane for €20.16m, as well as an adjoining one-acre development site for €7.5m."

Developers Hibernia REIT plc and Starwood Capital are embarking on a master planned program of regeneration that will transform this legendary address and restore its commercial acclaim.

1WML is the first of two new office buildings that will build on the success of The Observatory and Hanover Building and form a dynamic international business hub [pictured above].

They aim to develop over 120,000 sq ft of offices, around 7,000 sq ft of retail, and 15 residential units at the Dublin site, which is due to be completed in late 2017.

The arrangement with Deutsche has a term of three years and an option to extend for a further year. It is secured on the Windmill Lane property.

Hibernia said the facility will be used to fund the development of the one acre site.

Hibernia REIT, which only began trading before Christmas, agreed terms to buy the site on Windmill Lane from Starwood in June 2014 for €7.5m (£5.5m).

As part of the deal, Starwood was granted an option to buy back in as a 50:50 joint venture partner at purchase price plus a return of 7%, plus costs incurred by Hibernia.

Starwood said it will pay €4.9m (£3.6m) for its share in the joint venture, to be known as "Windmill Lane Partnership", to which ownership of the site will transfer. All future income and expenditure will be shared equally.

SOBO District is an area rich in commercial and cultural heritage. Linking the Liffey, Grand Canal Basin and Pearse Station it played a key role in the evolution of Dublin’s distillery, gasworks and ironworks sectors (many of the Tonge & Taggart manhole covers forged here are in use on our streets to this day). A Victorian centre of industry, the area resounded night and day with the sounds of enterprise.

Fast forward to the 20th century and industrial workers were replaced by musicians and creatives, drawn by the reputation of the legendary Windmill Lane studios. The Joshua Tree album recorded here by U2 would go on to play an important part in Ireland’s elevation to the global stage. Now, SOBO District is at the heart of Dublin’s digital and fintech revolution, attracting companies like Three and Verizon and bounded by businesses like Facebook, Google and Citi.

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