Google and O’Brien ink biggest office deal in Q3
Google’s agreement to rent 58,000 sq ft of space at billionaire businessman Denis O’Brien’s office block at One Grand Canal Quay has emerged as the biggest letting to have been agreed in the Dublin office market in the three-month period to the end of September.
The deal, the detail of which was first reported last August by this newspaper’s sister title, the Sunday Independent, represented just over 10 pc of the 564,000 sq ft of office space that transacted across 56 deals according to Knight Frank’s latest quarterly report on the Dublin market.
Some 2.2 million sq ft of space has been taken up in the capital in the year to date, an increase of 200,000 sq ft on last year’s performance at the same point. The average deal size of 10,076 sq ft recorded in the latest quarter however was much reduced on the 15,266 sq ft average in the three months to the end of June.
Google’s entry into a long-term agreement with Mr O’Brien to rent six floors at One Grand Canal Quay brings the total amount of space the US tech giant has taken in Dublin this year to just over 380,000 sq ft, with their footprint in the capital standing at approximately 1.1 million sq ft. Last May Google completed a €300m deal to acquire the entire Bolands Quay scheme. Located beside One Grand Canal Quay, the development will, upon completion, comprise 36,851 sq m (396,660 sq ft) of office, residential, retail and cultural space, and be capable of accommodating up to 2,500 workers.
And while there has been speculation in recent months that Google would be taking office space at Esprit’s Waterways House, Knight Frank’s latest report con- firms that the building, which sits directly opposite Mr O’Brien’s office, block was fully leased up in the third quarter with lettings to four tenants occurring.
The largest of these was to the Saongroup who took 12,644 sq ft. Other occupiers who took space in the scheme in the period included Telnyx, Simmons & Simmons and Standard & Poor’s. Interestingly, the latter two companies are believed to be Brexit-related, with Simmons & Simmons stating previously that they would be setting up a Dublin office because of the vote, while Standard & Poor’s previously announced they were moving 30 to 40 analysts out of London for the same reason.
Dublin city centre dominated letting activity, accounting for 53pc of all transactions, while the west side suburbs accounted for 22pc of take-up, significantly surpassing its five-year average of 8pc. Take-up in the latter was boosted by co-working firm IWG’s taking of 16,388 sq ft at the Blanchardstown Corporate Park. While the south suburbs accounted for 10pc of activity, the north suburbs comprised 7pc of the market. Its share was supported by the second largest transaction of Q3 which saw Kellogg’s become the first tenant at Three Dublin Airport Central where the company is taking 39,008 sq ft – a move that will see them relocate from their current base at the Airside Business Park.
Commenting on the latest figures, Declan O’Reilly, director at Knight Frank, said: “A significant volume of space has been reserved – particularly from the TMT (Technology, Media and Communications) sector – meaning we are likely to witness a strong finish to the year which could see office take-up surpass the record level of take-up witnessed in 2017.”
At the heart of the action: Grand Canal Quay, as seen from Dublin’s tallest residential building, the 17-storey Millennium Tower at nearby Charlotte Quay