Dublin offices undergo transformation with 26 blocks demolished since 2014

Location and quality of workplaces increasingly part of HR pitch, says Savills


Dublin’s office landscape is in the process of a transformation with 26 office blocks demolished and replaced since 2014, according to a new report from Savills Ireland.

The location and quality of workplaces are “increasingly becoming part of the HR pitch” to prospective employees, the property agents said.

“As new office supply continues to come on stream, occupiers will have a greater choice of buildings. Therefore location, design and the internal functionality of space will exert a greater influence on occupancy levels and the pricing of leased office space in the coming years.”

The average age of the demolished blocks is a little more than 40 years, compared to an average of 22 years for all office buildings in the city.

Their replacements have one notable feature: they are bigger. The demolished blocks average 3,643 sq m, while their replacements come in at an average of 4,968 sq m, meaning they are 36 per cent bigger.

The redevelopments have been focused almost exclusively on the city centre, with 21 projects in Dublin 2, four in Dublin 4 and one at Dublin Airport, Savills said.

Alternative uses

John McCartney, director of research at Savills Ireland, said the higher density office development would improve the efficiency and sustainability of Dublin as a business location and allow more people to benefit from Dublin’s public transport links, which he described as the best in Ireland.

Three city centre offices have been converted to alternative uses since 2014. These include Findlater House on O’Connell Street and Pinebrook House on Harcourt Street, both of which are now hotels.

Oisín House on Pearse Street – a dated office block from 1973 – is now being redeveloped for student housing and two further buildings (Creation House on Grafton Street and 10-12 Trinity Street) have had their first-floor offices converted to retail use.

The vacancy rate for Dublin offices stands at 9.3 per cent, Savills said, while rents are rising by about 5 per cent year-on-year. Further rental growth is expected over the next two years but at a slowing rate as supply begins to catch up with the backlog of demand.