Monday 24 November 2014

Twitter spreads wings to look for huge office space

Peter Flanagan Commercial Property Editor

Published 08/05/2014 | 02:30

Twitter’s MD in Ireland, Stephen McIntyre, with Twitter staff at the firm’s HQ in Dublin.

TWITTER is looking for a huge amount of office space in Dublin, in a move which could pave the way for a massive expansion here by the micro-blogging site.

The tech firm is looking for between 90,000 and 120,000 sq ft in the centre of Dublin, say people briefed on the company's demands.

The company is understood to have a preference for a site in the city centre near the docklands, but a move further afield will be at least considered if no suitable property can be found in that area.

Twitter currently employs about 200 people off Pearse Street in the south of the city centre.

Clearly, that number of employees would not require more than 90,000 sq ft of office space.

Facebook, which employs well over 500 staff here, last year completed a deal to take on 120,000 sq ft in Grand Canal Square.

Most Twitter staff in its European headquarters in Dublin are employed in sales, human resources, finance, marketing, engineering and user services.

The search for new offices here is not urgent at this point, and is understood to only be at preliminary stage for now.

The need for such a big office likely sets the scene for Twitter to greatly expand its presence in Ireland.

While it is unlikely to double its workforce in a single move, a larger office would give the company the flexibility to hire staff without having to worry about running out of space.

Many tech firms, including Facebook and Google like to have "too much" office space today because it would allow them to quickly expand in the months and years ahead.

Twitter is the latest in a line of companies to seek office space in Dublin as the number of top-level office blocks available dwindles.

Professional networking site LinkedIn has already retained agents to seek 120,000 sq ft in the city while Google has also been active in the Dublin property market.

Google has bought three buildings on Barrow Street in the docklands.

It also has close to 100,000 sq ft in East Point Business Park on the northside of the city.

A number of other technology firms are understood to be in the market for more office space, although none are thought to be on the scale of Twitter's demands.

They are all seeking offices in the top areas of the city, where space is becoming much harder to come by.

The IDA has warned repeatedly that there are only four buildings left in Dublin that would be suitable for a major foreign player, and claims the lack of new development in the city may lead to Ireland missing out on vital investment and jobs.

A spokesman for Twitter declined to comment on the company's plans.

The IDA, which helped convince Twitter to set up here originally, also declined to comment.

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