Permission sought for Dublin’s tallest office block

New dockland’s building will be 73m tall

The proposed 17-storey Exo building in Dublin’s docklands

The proposed 17-storey Exo building in Dublin’s docklands


Plans for Dublin’s tallest office block, a 73m-tall building at the Point Village at the northside entrance to the city’s docklands, will be lodged today with Dublin City Council.

The development would be called the Exo in reference to its “exoskeleton” external supporting structure. It is planned for the site of what was to be Ireland’s tallest building, Harry Crosbie’s “Watchtower”, which at 120m would have been the same height as the Spire in O’Connell Street. The foundations of the Watchtower were laid but it was never built.

The €80 million Exo building is being funded by the National Asset Management Agency (Nama). It would be significantly taller than any of the existing docklands offices built in recent years, including the 67m Montevetro building owned by Google on Barrow Street. It is also almost a third taller than the 1960s Liberty Hall.

However, it is not the tallest building planned for the docklands. Directly across the river Kennedy Wilson has sought permission for Capital Dock, a 79m residential and office development at the corner of Sir John Rogerson’s Quay and Britain Quay.

Joint receivers Stephen Tennant and Paul McCann of Grant Thornton have lodged the application for the Exo under the council’s fast-track planning process for the docklands.

The docklands strategic development zone (SDZ), approved by An Bord Pleanála last year, allows property owners secure construction permission from Dublin city planners which cannot be referred to the planning appeals authority.

Under the SDZ scheme the applicants could have sought permission for a taller building on the site. The scheme allows for a 22-storey (about 88m) building at the Point Village site. The Exo building at 73m will be 17 storeys tall.

The building, designed by Irish architectural practice Shay Cleary Architects, will have the capacity to accommodate 2,000 workers. It is expected to take about 24 months to build, with the creation of more than 350 construction jobs.

Savills and CBRE, joint letting agents for the development, said they expect strong demand for the offices.

The Exo is just one of several Nama-backed projects planned for the docklands development zone. The State agency has an interest in about 75 per cent of the land Governed by the SDZ.

Work is to start this month on the first project to get permission under the fast-track scheme, the €150 million redevelopment of the historic Boland’s Mill, which is also backed by Nama.