TikTok is aiming to have as many as 2,000 staff working onsite at its new Dublin offices by the first quarter of 2022 following its selection of the Sorting Office as the location for its Irish operations.
While TikTok's move to the city's south docklands has yet to be formalised with the building's owners, Mapletree Investments, the Chinese-headquartered social-media company is understood to have agreed terms to lease the property on the basis of a 15-year lease with 10 years term-certain and a rent-free period of around 18 months.
It is understood that the rental level agreed for the office scheme is between €55 and €60 per sq ft. This represents a significant fillip for the Dublin office market at a time when numerous commentators have been predicting, erroneously it appears, the demise of the traditional office model.
The fact that TikTok is intent on occupying the entire 202,000sq ft (18,766sq m) Sorting Office gives credence to the suggestion that Google’s decision not to proceed with its own deal for the property last September was based on something other than the abandonment by Big Tech of the traditional office model.
As reported by The Irish Times previously, TikTok had considered two other locations in Dublin city centre for its operations before deciding on the Sorting Office.
TIO (Targeted Investment Opportunities) for its part had offered TikTok the entire of North Dock One (8,826sq m/95,000sq ft) and the remaining 5,500sq m (59,200sq ft) of space still available within the adjoining 9,941sq m (107,000sq ft) North Dock Two. Taken together, the two buildings would have given TikTok room to accommodate about 1,500 workers.
Developer Sean Reilly's McGarrell Reilly group meanwhile offered the Chinese company the 17,187sq m (185,000sq ft) it has available at One Charlemont Square on Charlemont Street, giving TikTok the capacity to bring about 1,800 workers together.
Having employed just 20 people in the Republic at the start of 2020 TikTok has, in the interim, expanded its presence significantly with the growth of its Trust and Safety Hub in Dublin. The hub made the Irish operation TikTok’s third regional centre, enabling it to operate a localised approach to content policy.
TikTok has also designated Ireland as the hub of its European SMB business, which works with businesses and brands, and added a data privacy division to the Dublin-based team, appointing a head of privacy for EMEA and a data-protection officer last summer. While the Sorting Office will give it the capacity to accommodate up to 2,000 workers immediately, the company has plans in the medium to long term to grow its workforce here to 5,000 personnel.
Since its establishment more than three years ago, TikTok has garnered in the region of a billion users globally. The social media app has proved to be particularly popular with younger users.