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PokerStars buys home in big deal

SIGNIFICANT SALES: PokerStars has completed the sale of Skandia House on Onchan Head, in the same week as the sales of HSBC Headquarters on Standard Road, Douglas, and the Standard Bank Headquarters, went through. PHOTO: Mike Proudfoot (MP120307-2).

SIGNIFICANT SALES: PokerStars has completed the sale of Skandia House on Onchan Head, in the same week as the sales of HSBC Headquarters on Standard Road, Douglas, and the Standard Bank Headquarters, went through. PHOTO: Mike Proudfoot (MP120307-2).

 

POKERSTARS has completed purchase of its corporate headquarters, the landmark Douglas Bay Complex, on Onchan Head.

The building, also known as Skandia House, has been the company’s base since 2005.

In a significant week for Manx property, a local company which is part of the Finch Road-based Knox Group bought the HSBC Headquarters in Victoria Street and the Standard Bank Headquarters on the corner of Circular Road, both in Douglas, in a separate deal.

The three sales, handled by Black Grace Cowley, total £35 million.

The Douglas Bay Complex is a well-known landmark in Onchan, on the site of the former Douglas Bay Hotel, which stood for nearly 100 years before a fire ravaged the building in 1988.

The hotel served thousands of tourists and was the home to the legendary Texas Bar, which featured live music and was the sometime rehearsal and performance space for the Bee Gees.

The current office design of 60,000 square feet and 325 car park spaces opened in 2003 with the primary tenant as Royal Skandia Life Assurance company.

PokerStars first occupied the building in 2005 with 4,000 square feet and now occupies 20,000 square feet and employs more than 200 people.

Mark Scheinberg, chairman of the board of PokerStars, said: ‘PokerStars are proud to call Isle of Man our home.

‘We chose the Isle of Man as our corporate headquarters because it is among an elite group of countries that is at the forefront of e-gaming and provides a strict and rigorous licensing framework for our industry.

‘We feel very much a part of the local community and look forward to strengthening our ties even further.’

Black Grace Cowley commercial director Mark Grace said: ‘The Douglas Bay Complex is, I believe, the largest sale ever of a single office on the island and both the HSBC and the Standard Bank buildings represent extremely prominent and important office buildings in the centre of Douglas.’

Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK welcomed PokerStar’s announcement, saying: ‘We are pleased that PokerStars has taken this step as it underlines their commitment to maintaining their headquarters here in Isle of Man.

‘PokerStars has been a welcome civic and community leader as well as an important employer.’

 

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