Salesforce brings 2,900 staff to Docklands. Where will they all live?
The US firm’s staff will prefer to be within 20 minutes of the office. Here are some options
Salesforce: the American software company is building a Docklands office complex for its 2,900 Irish employees
Salesforce’s announcement that it is more than doubling its workforce in Ireland over the next five years – and building a new office complex for them to work in on the River Liffey, next to the Central Bank of Ireland in Dublin’s docklands – is welcome news. So where are all the American software company’s new employees going to live?
“They want to live on good commuter lines and be within a 20-minute journey time of their workplace,” says Nicola Bergin of Bergins Property Consultants. Owen Reilly, an estate agent, says that “80 per cent of those working in Docklands are not Irish and don’t care about the traditional north-south divide” of the city. What will impress them is that homes cost about 20 per cent less to rent or buy on the northside than they do south of the river.
One of the more affordable options nearby is at Hill of Down, in Spencer Dock, D1, where a two-bed, two-bathroom apartment unit is for rent for €2,250 a month through JLL Residential. Unusually, it is unfurnished.
Kennedy Wilson Residential is advertising newly refurbished one-bedroom apartments, with access to gyms and other communal facilities, for between €1,950 and €2,100 a month at North Bank, just behind the Liffey, on Castleforbes Road.
“These prices seem steep, given that they are competing with properties returning to the market that are rent capped. These rent very fast. They don’t appear on websites for very long,” Bergin says. She adds that two-beds can cost up to €2,500 a month, depending on rent caps, location, condition and the development.
Buying makes more sense if you can afford to, Bergin says. McNally Handy is advertising a three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment nearby, at 38 Castleforbes Square, for €380,000. A two-bedroom apartment at Castleforbes Square is seeking €375,000 through Gallagher Quigley.
Both are near a hotel due to be built by Paddy McKillen jnr and Matt Ryan of the ever-expanding Press Up hospitality group, whose portfolio includes the city’s achingly hip Dean and Devlin hotels. Their company Chirita recently filed an application to almost double the capacity of the site, where it had already received the green light to build a 58-bedroom hotel.
For families looking for houses rather than apartments, Owen Reilly suggests East Wall, in Dublin 3, which is about 25 per cent cheaper than Ringsend, across the river in Dublin 4, yet has similar styles and vintages of terraced and semi-detached houses. Reilly recently sold a property on Strangford Road for about €450,000 that he says would have cost about €600,000 in Ringsend.
For buyers willing to renovate, a three-bedroom house in need of complete modernisation, at 44 Bargy Road in East Wall, is for sale for €225,000 through iMove. In contrast, a nearby refurbished three-bedroom house, on Seaview Avenue, is for sale for €350,000 through Owen Reilly.
The redevelopment of Docklands is continuing with Connolly Quarter, a mix of offices, apartments and a hotel being built next to Connolly Station by Ballymore in partnership with CIÉ. Its single largest office block, up to seven storeys high, will be at the junction of Seville Place and a new street linking Seville Place and Sheriff Street Lower.
A proliferation of cafes, bars and restaurants has helped bring a buzz to the south docklands as the population has grown over the past decade. The likes of Ballymore and Ronan Group, which is building Salesforce’s new eight-storey, four-building complex, have brought creative thinking to their mixed developments. The shops at their Battersea development in London, for example, include an independent florist that the Ronan Group team had seen in Copenhagen and liked the look of. That kind of fresh thinking really works, says Reilly, who suggests that Camden Kitchen, the Green Room and Glovers Alley would all be good candidates to open branches in Dublin’s revamped north docks.