There were 79 construction cranes visible over the centre of Dublin on November 1st from the seventh floor of the Irish Times building on Tara Street.
This is an increase of nine (or 13 per cent) on October’s total of 70, and more than double the 34 cranes recorded on February 1st, 2016, when the newspaper’s crane survey was launched.
Construction is still concentrated south of the Liffey, where there were 56 cranes (two up on last month) but there has been a dramatic increase (53 per cent) in activity north of the Liffey, where the crane count now stands at 23 – up from 15 last month.
Much of this marked increase in the pace of development work is located close to the new Central Bank building on North Wall Quay.
Work has just started, for example, on the Paddy McKillen-backed Oakmount’s new 60-bedroom hotel at 82 North Wall Quay. The five-storey project, which involves the conversion of a derelict warehouse, will include a roof-top bar, restaurant, coffee shop and co-working office space at basement level. Designed by ODOS Architects, the €15 million project should be ready by late next year.
Ronan Corbett, head of offices at Cushman & Wakefield, believes the north docks will see the next wave of office development as there are very few sites or refurbishment opportunities left on the southside.
“The north docks will be the place to be,” he says, “as it has fast-track planning with special development zone status, and can accommodate big floor plates.”
Demand for office space in the Dublin market is accelerating. Andrew Cunningham, director of offices at Savills, says: "We believe that 2017 may see the highest single year of office lettings for the Dublin office market."
With the Irish economy expected to continue its recovery and a number of significant developments due to enter the construction phase shortly, it is likely the number of cranes on Dublin’s skyline will increase.
The Irish Times will continue to conduct a crane survey once a month to track construction levels in the city centre.