Kennedy Wilson begins work on offices at new Dublin docklands scheme

Coopers Cross campus at North Wall Quay to comprise 395,000sq ft of commercial space

Kennedy Wilson expects demand for office accommodation in the Dublin market to remain strong over the coming years notwithstanding the uncertainty of the past year.

In a clear illustration of its confidence in the sector, the US real estate firm and its joint venture partner, Cain International, have commenced construction of 36,696sq m (395,000sq ft) of grade A commercial space in the city's north docklands.

The proposed office accommodation forms part of a wider mixed-use campus to be known as Coopers Cross, which the partners are developing on a 2.3-hectare (5.9-acre) site to the rear of the Central Bank's headquarters on North Wall Quay.

Designed by award-winning architects, Henry J Lyons, the office-led blocks will sit across two buildings of 27,406sq m (295,000sq ft) and 9,290sq m (100,000sq ft) respectively, with the smaller building targeted for delivery by early 2023 and the larger by end of that year. The buildings will include retail and amenity uses, with up to seven stories over basement level and are designed for maximum efficiency and flexibility, with floorplates ranging from 929sq m (10,000sq ft) to 4,273sq m (46,000 sq ft).

Reduce carbon costs

Alongside Platinum level certifications across LEED and WELL, the focus on WiredScore and SmartScore will see the introduction of smart building technology that will enable tenants to reduce their operational carbon and related costs, as well as maximising the occupant experience through integrated tenant technology.

The buildings will house more than 700 cycling spaces, with electric charging points both for e-bikes and all car spaces, further enhancing the development’s green credentials. The office space will sit alongside 472 private rented sector (PRS) apartments, a new public park and square and what the promoters are describing as a“multi-functional town hall space”.

The commercial element of the docklands campus is being constructed in a single-phase contract, which has been agreed with John Sisk & Son.

Upon completion Coopers Cross will take up an entire city block fronting Mayor Street Upper, Castleforbes Road, Sheriff Street Upper and New Wapping Street.

Commenting on the plan, Ali Rohan, head of Ireland at Kennedy Wilson Europe, said: "The last year has seen an acceleration of trends which were already well under way in office delivery. Offices are now being designed as amenity rich, efficient, and flexible places where people look forward to working and socialising with colleagues. Coopers Cross will deliver all the key elements required to address the changing needs of occupiers and their staff, while providing amenities for the local community to enjoy."

Peter Collins, president at Kennedy Wilson Europe, added: “Kennedy Wilson is celebrating 10 years as a long-term investor in Ireland. We continue to believe in Dublin as a city with outstanding growth prospects, demonstrated by some high-profile job announcements in recent months. Its attractive fundamentals of a young, well-educated workforce, top educational institutions, and robust foreign direct investment position it as a city of the future, giving us confidence in its long-term growth. We look forward to working with Cain International to deliver the commercial element of Coopers Cross.”

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Acting Property Editor of The Irish Times