Kennedy Wilson CEO is bullish on Dublin market
The chairman and CEO of global real estate giant, Kennedy Wilson, Bill McMorrow has said that the combination of a "great university system" and "clear growth" among the world's major technology companies will continue to support its decision to invest hundreds of millions of euro in Dublin's commercial and residential property sectors.
Commenting on Kennedy Wilson's approach to its investments in Ireland and in several cities on the west coast of the United States, Mr McMorrow said: "We've learned over the years that in order for any of these markets to sustain themselves, there has to be a great university system because they have to be producing younger people that can go into the job market."
Mr McMorrow added that the "clear growth" taking place in the technology industry was underpinning the creation of jobs taking place in Dublin and in Seattle, Reno and Boise in the United States.
Referring to Kennedy Wilson's analysis of the tech sector's prospects and the potential impact of that on his business, he said: "We study the large technology companies, their financial statements. We study their ability to continue to grow. And when you look at the top 15 technology companies by market cap [capitalisation], and then really study their balance sheets, these companies are extremely well-capitalised."
He added that it was Kennedy Wilson's view that US tech giants investing in Dublin such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Dell, all have what he described as "a very long runway of growth in front of them".
Mr McMorrow made his comments on the outlook for Kennedy Wilson's Dublin portfolio in the course of a conference call with analysts following the publication of the company's latest quarterly results.
Earlier this week, Kennedy Wilson announced the completion of its Capital Dock development in Dublin's South Docklands.
Extending across an area of 4.8 acres, the scheme includes over 690,000 sq ft of new mixed-use space including offices, retail, apartments, and a 1.5 acre public park.
Capital Dock also bears the distinction of being home to Ireland's tallest residential tower. At 22 storeys, the building comprises 190 apartments which are due to be offered to the rental market shortly.
Outside of its interests in Capital Dock, Kennedy Wilson remains one of the most active real estate investors and operators in Ireland, with significant development underway across €1bn of assets throughout the country. Among these are more than 1,300 new multifamily units in various stages of development on major Dublin projects including Clancy Quay, City Block 3 and The Grange in Stillorgan.