DAA begins €10m office development of old Aer Lingus HQ at Dublin airport

Multi-national corporates looking for EMEA headquarters likely first tenants

Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) is to spend an estimated €10 million on the redevelopment of the former Aer Lingus head office at the airport. It is part of the first phase of a planned 70-acre business park aimed at international high-tech companies involved in research and development as well as other service industries.

Work is to start later this month on the regeneration of the 45-year-old block which is to get a Grade A specification, a LEED gold certification and an A3 energy rating before it is ready for fit-out by the end of the year.

The six-storey over basement building with a floor area of 8,300sq m (89,400sq ft) will in future be known as One, Dublin Airport Central. PJ Walls has been appointed as design and build contractors, while Henry J Lyons are acting as architect and design consultants.

Letting agents Bannon and BNP Paribas Real Estate are reporting "significant interest" in the block even before the formal launch, saying that it would appeal particularly to large multi-national corporations looking for a European or EMEA headquarters. The layout of the building will allow it to be leased to a single tenant or on a multi-let basis because of plans to provide a dual access reception area.

The regeneration process will include a new triple-glazed façade, improved insulation, flexible layout and the installation of T50 broadband throughout. About 60 jobs will be created during the construction phase and an estimated 700 people will be based there when the offices are fully let.

The DDA is convinced that the new business park can capitalise on the airport’s direct links with Europe (there are 108 daily flights to London alone), North American and the Middle East. Last year Dublin Airport handled 21.7 million passengers, an increase of 8 per cent on 2013.

Property experts are convinced that a business park at Dublin Airport would have considerable advantages over similar locations in south Dublin which are somewhat isolated and subject to traffic congestion at peak times.

This point was well made by Lucy Connolly of Bannon at last week’s launch: “In an era when staff retention and recruitment is a priority for most businesses, the location offers staff amenities, facilities and transport connectivity which other locations can’t touch.

“The sense of isolation prevalent in the likes of Sandyford and Cherrywood underpins the benefits of Dublin Airport Central. Not to mention that in the 15 minutes it takes to travel from Dublin Airport to the North Docks, you would still be trying to get out of Sandyford Industrial Estate”

The airport site has 1,500 local and national bus and coach movements on a daily basis. It also has a sophisticated information technology infrastructure, round the clock security, a wide range of restaurants and bars, a fitness centre and a large number of sports facilities.

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan is the former commercial-property editor of The Irish Times