Developers Davy Hickey Property bought the 360-acre site on the edge of the Naas dual carriageway in west Dublin for a figure reputed to be in the region of £6 million in 1990. Against all expectations, it had the land rezoned for commercial use. It was planned as the first of a new generation of out-of-town business parks and was a success from day one because of the high standard of infrastructure.
Among the first companies to move into Citywest Business Campus in the mid-1990s were Xilinx, Saturn and Viking Components. Now with 1.75 million sq ft of office and high tech industrial space, about 600,000 sq ft of which is pure office space, and a further 650,000 sq ft under construction - 220,000 sq ft of it office space - the developers say the business park is still "less than half way there".
About half of the 70 companies in Citywest own their premises, and a number of financial institutions, including Irish Life, AIB Investment Managers and Bank of Ireland Investment Managers, have funded a range of units there which are rented mainly to high tech companies. Rents vary between £12 and £17 per sq ft for office space and from £10 per sq ft for industrial warehouse space.
The trend in recent years for large organisations to move their operations, or at least part of their operations, to the suburbs, particularly to locations close to M50, has contributed to the phenomenal success of business parks like Citywest. One of its latest coups was the announcement that SAP, the largest software company in Europe, is to take a 75,000 sq ft there. The site also has a 60,000 sq ft carrier hotel facility - a base for telecommunications companies, ISPs and e-commerce companies to safely locate high tech equipment so that their networks can exchange data.
In May, Odenberg Engineering hit the headlines when it paid a premium of £250,000 for the leasehold interest in a 343,700 sq ft industrial premises there. Odenberg fought off stiff competition from several companies for the detached building.