Wednesday 24 January 2018

Twitter set to move its HQ in Dublin to Cumberland House

Twitter is set to move into Hibernia REIT's Cumberland House in Dublin 2, as it seeks to consolidate its Dublin operation into one location.

The micro-blogging site has been based in the Academy Building for some time but has outgrown that space and now has multiple locations across the capital.

The company has been looking for a new home for its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) headquarters for more than a year. At one point it was set to move into the former Fas building on Baggot Street in the city but that deal fell through.

Cumberland House is one of the biggest office properties available in Dublin. Hibernia REIT bought the 1970s era block from the Bennett family for €49m last year. At the time of the deal it had been expected that the property would be quickly redeveloped. The development plans had raised the prospect of a new block with capacity for as much as 250,000 sq ft of office space being built on the site.

However, given the growth in the commercial property market in recent months, with rents continuing to soar, Hibernia REIT chief executive Kevin Nowlan told an investor conference that a refurbishment was now likely.

"Cumberland was bought as a redevelopment play, but the market has moved and rents have moved so much, and there is such demand for this type of space in this location that I think it is likely that we will do a refurbishment," he said.

Mr Nowlan added that his firm would likely "let it out to an entity that has an opportunity to expand and develop new buildings on the site and basically treat it like a campus development".

A spokesman for Hibernia REIT declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Twitter.

Securing Twitter as a tenant would be a major coup for Hibernia, which has bought up numerous office buildings around Dublin and refurbished them.

The company has then planned to lease them out at significantly higher rents.

Hibernia is currently refurbishing Commerzbank and Guild House on Guild Street in Dublin's IFSC, and is preparing a site at Windmill Lane in the docklands to build new offices and apartments, among other projects.

Twitter will be the latest tech firm to move to a new location in recent years. Facebook has moved from its old offices to 4 and 5 Grand Canal Square, while LinkedIn is building a new block beside its HQ at Wilton Place.

Sunday Independent

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