The response to Google’s decision to withdraw from a landmark office deal in Dublin has been muted.
News that the U.S. search giant will no longer go ahead with plans to sign a contract for a sorting office building that can accommodate up to 2,000 people has shaken the commercial property sector. However, industry figures said the suggestions that a tipping point could be proven were exaggerated.
Despite the uncertainty created by the Kovid-19 crisis and the current government’s guidance on working from home where possible, there are no indications that any major technology companies are planning to reverse their existing footprint.
Facebook, a social media company building a campus in Bolsbridge on the site of the former AIB Bank Center, said it was committed to development and Ireland.
More than 2,000 people currently living on the Grand Canal are expected to officially move to the new campus once they are safe.
The sales force is expected to move forward with the development of the sales force tower in Dublin. With the completion of the Spencer Dock project, which cuts height restrictions in the area, it will be able to retain 3,500 staff – and the need to maintain social distance is over.
“Against the backdrop of the epidemic and the current pivot of homework, it is difficult to predict what decisions companies will now make regarding office space requirements,” said a spokesman for the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland.
“Until the post-pandemic business environment is reached, there is likely to be a lack of clarity until companies have a better experience of their future workspace needs.”
Industry figures in the commercial real estate sector described the move as disappointing.
“I don’t think there are 10 other Googles to take this place, but inevitably other takers will come along. They can rent the floor more than the whole building, which will take more time, but it will still be full. ”
Influence on decision
There have been some concerns in this area that the inability to come up with more of the reasons for Google’s decision is fueling uncertainty. It was noted that Google has several other office projects on the go and the company has already decided to allow employees to work until next year and this may have influenced the decision.
An industry executive said developers are unlikely to slow down their plans as a result of a Google call. He opined that most of the office schemes currently under construction or starting soon are already 50-60 per cent pre-booked.
“This market is not like the previous boom, it was built by developers ahead of schedule,” he said. “Developers generally find it difficult to keep up with demand. The distribution of high quality new space makes sense. ”
Sources said that a quarter of the deals that preceded the lockdown had fallen into the water and a quarter of them were currently blocked. However, the rest are either completed or are currently working through this process.