Sunday 4 December 2016

Employers to get priority on dockland apartments

Published 08/09/2016 | 02:30

Capital Dock is being developed by Kennedy Wilson and Nama
Capital Dock is being developed by Kennedy Wilson and Nama

Kennedy Wilson has stolen a march on its rivals in a bid to secure the business of companies which may seek to relocate to Dublin in the wake of the UK's decision to vote in favour of Brexit.

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While other developers focus on the delivery of office buildings alone to meet the potential influx of employers from London and elsewhere, the US-headquartered global real estate giant's development of Capital Dock in Dublin's docklands will also see it provide housing for arriving workers.

With the Government only now beginning to appreciate the severity of the housing crisis, the shortage of suitable accommodation in Dublin has been identified as a major threat to the city's prospects of attracting financial institutions and other businesses looking to relocate within the EU following Britain's exit.

Speaking to the Irish Independent following the launch of Capital Dock, Alison Rohan, Head of Ireland for Kennedy Wilson, revealed that the 4.8 acre development's office tenants would be offered "priority access" to the 190 apartment units the company intends to deliver on site.

She said: "We intend to hold and manage the entire residential offering for the rental market. The residential element of Capital Dock will be a critical element of the overall offering, particularly for office tenants who need to bring in specialist staff from overseas. Our office tenants will get priority access to the residential units."

Capital Dock's 340,000 sq ft of office space is set to be delivered in the final quarter of 2017, while its apartments will be ready for occupation from 2018, making both offerings timely propositions for UK-based employers currently in the process of investigating their post-Brexit options.

Asked for her take on Brexit and the potential opportunities for Dublin and for Kennedy Wilson's business here, Rohan said: "It's clear that since the UK referendum in June many international companies, particularly in financial services and Technology Media and Telecommunications are reviewing the scope of their UK operations."

"Should they decide to move units, we think Dublin is very well placed to attract a significant element of this business. It's important that Dublin can show it's capable of delivering world-class offices and residential to meet this new demand.

"We have no doubt that Capital Dock, with its scale, flexibility, on-campus residential offering and 15-minute access to the airport, will be seen as an attractive option."

A joint venture between Kennedy Wilson and Nama, Capital Dock's campus will encompass a total of 690,000 sq ft of offices, residential space and amenities across three buildings upon completion. The centrepiece of the development will be a landmark 23-storey tower, which the developers say will "signpost the gateway" to Dublin city.

While the development of Capital Dock proceeds at the entrance to the docklands, further up the River Liffey, Michael Cotter's Park Developments Group (PDG) has retained building contractors John Sisk & Sons to develop the €100m 'Reflector' building on the waterfront at Hanover Quay and Grand Canal Dock (full story on page 14).

The 125,000 sq ft Grade A office and residential building will boast water frontage of almost 75m upon its completion in the third quarter of 2018.

PDG teamed up with Sisk & Sons in 2005 to build a major residential scheme on the corner of Hanover Quay and Grand Canal Square, which served to kick-start the regeneration of the South Docks.

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