Google is to offer 46 apartments it acquired as part of the Bolands Mills development in Dublin city centre to key workers in the local area at a reduced rent.
The tech giant said it would work with an approved not-for-profit housing body to rent out the apartments. It is targeting those who work in jobs considered critical for the wellbeing of the community, including nurses, teachers, front-line services workers and public safety employees.
The housing body, which will be chosen from a shortlist, will handle all stages of the process, from choosing the tenants to maintaining the apartments. Google staff will not be eligible to apply.
But prospective tenants will have to wait another while for their homes. The Bolands Mills scheme was scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2020 but will now not be ready until the end of 2022.
Google said it was aiming to create an environment “reflective of the diverse nature of the Grand Canal area”.
"Google has made a home in Ireland over the last 17 years, and the vibrant and creative character of the local community has become ingrained in our culture at our EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] HQ," said Jennifer Kelly, Google's global vice president of real estate and workplace services. "We're committed to ensuring that the development of Bolands Mills has a positive impact in our community, and offering these 46 apartments to key workers in the local community is an exciting part of that.
Google struck a deal with Nama to buy the three landmark buildings then known as Bolands Quay in 2018 in a deal worth about €300 million, and later obtained permission to construct a bridge to link two of the office towers. The development includes 28,000sq m of office space, 46 apartments, cafes and cultural space. Bolands Mills will also include 40,000sq ft of publicly accessible mixed-use space, with retail, recreation and dining aspects, and a dedicated 5,000sq ft community and cultural space.
The project has suffered a few delays, including remediation work needed at part of the development after a problem was identified by developer BAM.
Last year it was reported that Dublin City Council had opted not to acquire four or so apartments at the site for social housing but would instead buy three units elsewhere "within the electoral area".