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Dublin: European capital of the tech campus

Major tech firms are swallowing up prime commercial property in the city centre

An artist’s impression of LinkedIn’s future campus at Wilton Park, Dublin 2. The extra space will allow the firm to expand to 4,000 employees in Dublin

It’s official: city – and campus – working is in. LinkedIn became the latest tech company to announce it was expanding, creating a campus for its EMEA headquarters in Dublin at the under-construction Wilton Park.

The professional networking company is following Facebook, Salesforce and Google in making its mark on Dublin’s city centre, with the potential for thousands more jobs once its new home is complete.

That won’t be any time soon however; construction of the three blocks will begin this year and is expected to be complete in 2023.

Facebook, which at the last count employed more than 2,200 people at its offices near Grand Canal Dock, is a little further along the process. Its campus in Ballsbridge, on the site of the old AIB Bankcentre, is expected to have staff on site by 2022.

Once completed, it will be able to hold up to 7,000 employees, and will bring the total investment by the social media company across all its properties to “hundreds of millions of euro”.

Google, one of the original Silicon Docks companies, is also expanding. Not content with taking up a sizeable proportion of the office space in Barrow Street, it also snapped up the Valesco building on the Grand Canal in 2017, before announcing in 2018 it would take over Bolands Quay at the opposite end of Barrow Street. The latter was an investment of €300 million, on top of the €809 million it had already made in the area.

Salesforce, meanwhile, is building its Dublin tower in the Docklands, consisting of four interconnected buildings at Spencer Dock. That announcement came with the promise of 1,500 new jobs at the company.

Despite tech companies being the prime candidates for remote working, they seem to be concentrating on getting bigger, swallowing up more and more commercial property space in the capital city, and likely piling further pressure on the residential property market in the Dublin area.

Not all tech firms have zeroed in on Dublin city. Intel chose Leixlip, Co Kildare, for its (to date) $15 billion (€13.5 billion) investment; Microsoft’s €134 million campus was built in Leopardstown; Apple is in Cork.

Google, meanwhile, has leased some office space in Sandyford. But it appears Dublin – and Silicon Docks – is still the focal point for many of the major players in the tech sector. Whether this will be a positive or negative for the city – and its residents – is still up for debate.

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