One South County matches Dublin's CBD at half the price
While some of the biggest names in Irish property engage in a race against time and each other to build commercial space in Dublin's central business district (CBD) in anticipation of the arrival of companies relocating from the UK in the wake of Brexit, developer Cyril McGuire could yet steal their collective thunder with One South County, the 140,00 sq ft grade A LEED gold office space he is delivering at South County Business Park in Leopardstown just 20 minutes south of the city centre.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, the former Trintech chief and current CEO of Infinity Capital put the potential attractiveness of One South County - the first of three new buildings he intends to develop - down to South County Business Park's track record of securing major international companies such as Microsoft and indigenous firms such as Icon, its proximity to both the M50 and N11 and perhaps most importantly, the relatively-low cost of renting there compared to the CBD.
Asked how he thought One South County might fare against the competition from Dublin city centre in the post-Brexit bid to attract employers from the UK and beyond, McGuire said: "When international employers come to Dublin and review their real estate requirements, they're looking at a number of things. Primarily they're looking at their real estate needs from a company perspective.
"But equally, they're looking to their workforce. It's becoming increasingly competitive and the HR issues [now take account of the] ease of securing living accomodation in the area and public transportation."
McGuire says he believes the strength of the South County Business Park's location and its transport infrastructure proved instrumental to Microsoft's decision to establish its European headquarters there.
And while he said employers are happy to be in what he described as a "very prominent suburban location", that location still had to provide good infrastructural routes such as the M50 and N11 but "above all, no reduction in the grade A, LEED gold accommodation they would be used to in the city centre"
Referring to One South County speficially, McGuire said: "They can get that space for half the price. The target being asked for by the agents is in excess of €30 per sq ft. When people look at real estate, they have to like it, but a lot of the time it comes down to 'brass tacks' in terms of price. It is very competitive relative to the CBD." At €30 per sq ft, One South County's rate for occupiers represents approximately half that currently being sought for prime space in Dublin's city centre.
One South County is the first of three new high-end office blocks with a combined space of 290,000 sq ft (26,942 sq m) set on more than five acres of landscaped parkland. The building is being let by joint agents JLL and BNP Paribas Real Estate.
Designed by architects the O'Toole Partnership (TOTP), the building overlooks Leopardstown Road. At 140,000 sq ft arranged over five floors, its ground floor will include a staff gym, cafe and customer service centre while the office space above will have a roof garden with views over Dublin. South County Business Park is a short walk from the Luas, has a shuttle bus to the Dart and offers easy access to the M50.
Recent works to the Leopardstown Link Road have also improved access.
The surrounding area employs more than 20,000 staff.