New office block for Dublin's legal quarter

OFFICE MARKETS: The new Kings Building in Dublin's legal quarter will appeal to a wide range of companies, and is designed with…

OFFICE MARKETS:The new Kings Building in Dublin's legal quarter will appeal to a wide range of companies, and is designed with multiple tenants in mind, writes JACK FAGAN.

A MARKETING CAMPAIGN is to be launched in the coming week for a large and distinctive new office block in the heart of Dublin's legal quarter.

Kings Building, now being completed between the historic St Michan's Church and the modern office block of the Bar Council of Ireland on Church Street is expected to appeal to a wide range of companies because of its high quality fit-out and its key position in the city centre. It is within 300 yards of the Luas service and the rear of the Four Courts.

The block is being built by the doyenne of the Irish construction industry, John Byrne, and his son John who have always specialised in the office market.


John senior, a sprightly 90-year-old, is one of the most experienced office developers in Ireland, having built - and retained - well over a dozen blocks in Dublin since 1963. His first major project, O'Connell Bridge House on Dublin's O'Connell Bridge, was to have 17 storeys but he settled for 10 because of the difficulties of finding tenants at the time.

He is unlikely to have any such problems with the €70 million Kings Building which is, in fact, considerably larger than the newly completed facade on Church Street suggests.

The six-storey building of offices over a basement car park extends the full length of May Lane, backing on to Bow Street where the ancient cut-stone walls of the former Jameson Distillery have been modified to accommodate apartments, a hotel, shops and a museum.

The office development has a gross floor area of 25,000 sq m (269,100 sq ft) including an impressive basement car park with over 100 spaces.

The volume of lettable office space comes out at 16,493 sq m (177,530 sq ft) in a mixture of floor plates which range in size from 2,124 to 3,032 sq m (22,862 to 32,636 sq ft).

While there is the possibility of finding a single user for a block of this quality, the likelihood is that it will be divided between a number of tenants. For that reason the developers have installed extra lifts, stairwells and toilets to facilitate multi-tenant use.

As well as a handsome double height reception area off Church Street, the building can accommodate a second reception area along May Lane where the same proportions will apply.

The level of daylight and sunlight on the upper floors in particular greatly enhances the block, which offers superb views over many part of the city towards the Dublin mountains.

After prompting by the city planners, architects Brian O'Halloran Associates introduced a wide mix of building types on the Kings Building to break up the massing of such a large block and also to reflect the diversity of existing buildings on Church Street.

The result is an impressive block which asserts itself within the streetscape. The wide use of glass, metal and stone and the contemporary architectural style adopted will not go unnoticed by those planning the new city square on the nearby former fish market site.

Joint agents Jones Lang LaSalle and Savills Hamilton Osborne King are quoting rents of €484 per sq m (€45 per sq ft) for the Kings Building and €4,000 for car parking spaces.