Dogpatch Labs move to CHQ brings new business model

Company will offer ‘pay-to-play’ model that supplies office space to tech start-ups

CHQ: Dogpatch Labs will occupy 1,254sq m (13,500sq ft) of space there that was previously a retail store. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

CHQ: Dogpatch Labs will occupy 1,254sq m (13,500sq ft) of space there that was previously a retail store. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Dogpatch Labs is moving from the Warehouse building on Barrow Street to CHQ where it will occupy 1,254sq m (13,500sq ft) of space that was previously a retail store.

The company, which offered free co-working office space to start-ups on an invite-only basis, will now evolve to a “pay-to-play” business model that supplies office space to scaling tech start-ups on affordable and flexible terms.

Dogpatch has a multi-year lease which was privately arranged with CHQ Ltd. Start-ups are charged a rate of €400 per desk per month and there is capacity for 150 desk spaces.

Hugo Mahony, head of business development at Dogpatch Labs, said the company is planning on adding an additional 650sq m (7,000sq ft) at CHQ this year by developing the vaults beneath its existing unit.

Co-working, pioneered by WeWork and RocketSpace in the US, is a growing trend in the office market. It enables entrepreneurs to work alongside others in a collaborative and shared environment.

Those co-working share resources (office space, desk, internet) with other people. According to some estimates, there will be 12,000 co-working spaces globally by 2018.

Dogpatch Labs is widely recognised in the United States and Ireland for its pioneering development of early stage co-working communities.

Subsequent facilities

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Dogpatch Labs first opened its doors in Dublin in September 2011 and quickly became home to many of Ireland’s fastest growing technology companies including Logentries, Boxever, Profitero, Intercom and CoderDojo.

As part of the relocation to CHQ, Dogpatch Labs 2.0 will be under the directorship of young Irish tech entrepreneur Patrick Walsh who spearheaded the new development with Mervyn Greene of CHQ.

Noel Ruane of Polaris Partners will continue his involvement as lead of the Dogpatch Labs advisory group.

“I am excited to lead this new era of Dogpatch Labs 2.0,” said Mr Walsh. “The significant momentum in establishing Dublin as a major European technology hub will continue, and the opening of Dogpatch Labs 2.0 is another step in carving out a role for Ireland in advancing global innovation.”

CHQ’s Neville Isdell said Dogpatch “fits the building very well and we expect to see all sorts of enhanced activity and life coming back to CHQ as a result of this innovative move. We’re also very proud to be able to contribute to the development of the technology start-up scene in Ireland by facilitating this project.”

Mr Ruane, venture partner with Polaris Partners, said: “Dogpatch Labs has facilitated the rapid growth of some very exciting companies by providing the founding teams with the right environment for them to focus on innovation.

“The seed stage Irish technology landscape has evolved now to the point that a larger, scalable pay to play co-working space is an absolute requirement to meet the needs of this burgeoning ecosystem.”

CHQ, formerly known as Stack A, was built in 1820 by John Rennie as part of the warehouse system alongside George’s Dock that was controlled from James Gandon’s Custom House. The Grade One protected structure was sympathetically restored by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) in 2006 at a cost of €45 million.

This redevelopment created 10,219sq m (110,000sq ft) of lettable retail, restaurant and exhibition space out of an overall floor area of 13,749sq m (148,000sq ft).

Exclusive retail centre

In early 2013, about 80 per cent of CHQ’s overall space was vacant with just eight of 22 internal ground floor retail units rented. It was put on the market at more than €10 million and it was sold in July 2013 to E Neville Isdell, the former chairman and chief executive of the Coca-Cola Company, for slightly more than €10 million.

The main focus at CHQ is still on food with Starbucks, SevenWonders, Bakehouse, Tossed, Insomnia and J2 Sushi among the tenants. In addition, there are some legacy retailers including Louis Copeland.