Boston real estate companies look to Dublin to build trade and conference centres

World Trade Centre and conference facility bigger than CCD are both in pipeline

The Convention Centre Dublin:  a Boston real estate firm is in talks with Dublin Port on possible sites to locate a conference centre with a main space comprising 250,000sq ft and a potential capacity for up to 20,000 delegates.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The Convention Centre Dublin: a Boston real estate firm is in talks with Dublin Port on possible sites to locate a conference centre with a main space comprising 250,000sq ft and a potential capacity for up to 20,000 delegates. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 


Two leading real estate developers based in Boston are pursuing separate plans to establish conferencing and trade centre facilities in Dublin.

John Drew of the Drew Company is considering locating a World Trade Centre in the capital. He holds the WTC franchise for Dublin and operates similar facilities in the US, including in Boston.

He is the founder and president of Drew Company, a Boston-based real estate management and development company. His developments have included the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center in Boston, which last week hosted the final leg of a four-city trade mission by 40 Irish business executives, accountants and lawyers.


‘Commercial project’
Speaking to The Irish Times , Mr Drew said: “We would like to do a commercial real estate project in Ireland.”

This includes establishing a trade centre, possibly with conferencing and hotel facilities in Dublin, he added.

“I’m trying to figure out the size of the market and whether or not we create conferencing around the trade centre.”

Mr Drew has established a company here to pursue this opportunity, called Drew Dublin WTC Management Ltd.

The Boston businessman is also eyeing opportunities for student accommodation and it is understood that he sought to acquire the former Montrose hotel in Dublin recently.

Mr Drew would like to establish a WTC in 2014 or 2015. He would “fund it with equity from the US”.


Dublin Port
Separately, Mike Corcoran confirmed that he is in talks with Dublin Port on possible sites to locate a conference centre with a main space comprising 250,000sq ft and a potential capacity for up to 20,000 delegates.

Mr Corcoran said he has engaged PwC to conduct a feasibility study. The firm has already done a study of demographics and he is “comfortable” with the numbers.

Mr Corcoran predicted that such a facility would “certainly” cost less than €100 million to develop.

He said the development might require Government incentives but that it would not take business from the Convention Centre Dublin in Spencer Dock, which is State subvented.

Mr Corcoran is involved with Corcoran Jennison Corporation, one of the biggest real estate development and management companies in Massachusetts.

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