New Dublin offices to house 100,000 workers within five years

Savills reckons we can easily cope with post-Brexit business demand...

With the scarcity of property – both residential and commercial – in the country remaining a hot topic, a new report from Savills Ireland shows that the capital should cope just fine business-wise.

According to a Skyline Survey published by the real estate agents, 136 new office buildings are currently planned for Dublin over the next five years.

This would provide more than 12 million square feet of commercial office space in the capital, capable of accommodating more than 100,000 employees by 2021.

While the report acknowledges that not all planned developments will proceed, if just half of those buildings advance to completion, Dublin will be able to handle an inflow as UK-based companies look to transplant their operations post-Brexit.

Some 39 new developments are currently under construction, with one-third of those having a pre-commitment from a tenant to move in. A further 62 developments have received planning permission, with 35 still at the planning stage.

The majority of office construction will take place in the central business district (CBD) of Dublin 1, 2 and 4. Most of this development will be new builds, with refurbishments and extensions making up over 18% of the pipeline, and the replacement of existing buildings accounting for 39%.

Andrew Cunningham, Director of Offices at Savills Ireland commented:

“Between 2010 and 2014, office construction in Dublin came to a complete halt for the first time since records began – something that was almost unique to the Dublin market and not experienced in any other western capital city. Take-up however was strong and as a result, the vacancy rate tightened quickly causing rents to rise sharply. This has made office development viable again.”

Responding to claims from some quarters than Dublin would not be able to provide adequate space for migrating UK business, Cunningham said:

“If any UK-based companies decide to move operations to Dublin on foot of Brexit – and we believe they will – it will not happen immediately. A gradual migration, spread out over number of years up to the final Brexit date, is far more likely, by which time supply should be able to cope with demand.”
He concluded:

“The on-off nature of the date for final Brexit is causing reactions amongst occupiers, with a noticeable increase in enquiries following the announcement of March 2019 as the deadline. However, last weeks’ ruling that Article 50 must be triggered by a parliamentary vote will undoubtedly extend this deadline.”