Facebook expands in Dublin

Facebook is to embark on a major expansion of its European headquarters in Dublin after completing legal contracts to rent almost twice the volume of office space that it currently occupies in the south docklands.

And, in other positive news from Ireland’s technology industry, Yahoo is to rent 6,967sq m (75,000sq ft) in the Point Village in the north docklands and Amazonis to move into 5,574sq m (60,000sq ft) in Burlington Plaza on Burlington Road in Dublin 4.

All three lettings, amounting to 23,690sq m (255,000sq ft), will be the largest tranche of new office space let in the Irish market for many years.

Facebook has finally settled on No 4 Grand Canal Square, a top-of-the-range block beside the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, which has a floor area of 11,148sq m (120,000sq ft). The company is likely to have agreed to a rent of close to €376 per sq m (€35 per sq ft) under a 20-year lease with a break option in year 10. The fit-out will cost in excess of €6 million and will be funded jointly by the landlord and Facebook.

The social network company is currently based in 6,038sq m (65,000sq ft) at Hanover Reach overlooking Grand Canal Harbour. Its leases are due to run out in the middle of next year just as the fit- out of the new offices is likely to be completed. Ellier Developments is not expected to have any difficulty in finding a replacement tenant because of the shortage of top-quality offices in the city.

Earlier this year Facebook announced that it would be creating another 100 positions at its European headquarters, bringing the number employed at the Dublin base to 500. The Irish office is involved in a large range of functions from user operations, policy and safety to advertising and sales. It has responsibility for users of the site outside the US.

Facebook’s decision to relocate to Grand Canal Square comes only a week after law firm William Fry confirmed its intention to rent 9,290sq m (100,000sq ft) in the same development completed by Joe O’Reilly’s Chartered Land. This will leave another block available with a floor area of 11,148sq m (120,000sq ft) which is also likely to be rented in the coming months because of the scarcity of high-quality accommodation and the popularity of the location.

Agents Bannon and Knight Frank handled the letting. DTZ Sherry FitzGerald acted for Facebook.

Yahoo will occupy three office floors on top of the €850 million Point Village which was developed by businessman Harry Crosbie and is now under the control of receivers Grant Thornton and Nama. The extravagant complex includes the Gibson Hotel, Odean Cinema and a multistorey shopping centre which has not opened because of a dispute between the anchor tenant Dunnes Stores and the promoter.

Yahoo will be paying a rent of €161 per sq m (€15 per sq ft) for the office accommodation which will have views over the docklands area.

The company is currently based in East Point and mounted a search for a larger building after announcing plans to recruit a further 200 staff in Dublin.

Savills is marketing the offices in Point Village where another 25,000sq ft is available. DTZ Sherry FitzGerald acts for Yahoo.

Amazon is also on the move in Dublin with plans to rent 5,574sq m (60,000sq ft) in the upmarket Burlington Plaza office complex on Burlington Road. It will share the block with BSkyB which occupies 3,251sq m (35,000 sq ft). Amazon will be paying just under €322 per sq m (€30 per sq ft) for the accommodation which was developed by a syndicate which included the former AIBIM and the Flynn/Kelly families. There is a further 5,109sq m (55,000 sq ft) available in Burlington Plaza through agents CBRE and Jones Lang LaSalle. Source: Irish Times