Saturday 18 November 2017

Ireland's tallest office block planned for Dublin's Point Village

Point Village office block plan
Point Village office block plan

The tallest office block in the Republic of Ireland will be built beside Dublin Port if Dublin City Council signs off on a planning application submitted today.

The receivers over the Point Village development - Grant Thornton's Stephen Tennant and Paul McCann - have applied for planning permission to build a 17 storey, 73m tall office block, named "The Exo".

The plans will allow for 224,500 sq ft of office space, about enough to house 2,000 workers. If the plans are signed off, construction will take about two years and employ 350 people in process.

The location is one of the few areas in Dublin that allow for high rise buildings. Directly opposite on the other side of the River Liffey, Kennedy Wilson is proposing a 79 metre high tower at its "Capital Docks" development.

Both of those buildings will easily beat the 59 metre high Liberty Hall and 67m high Montevetro in Grand Canal Dock - now renamed Google Docks. The Elysian Tower in Cork is 68m high. The two tallest buildings on the island are the Obel Tower and Windsor House in Belfast. Both are over 80m.

The Exo tower is being financed by Nama, while Savills and CBRE are letting agents.

Mr Tennant commented: "The Point Village has the potential to become Dublin's newest commercial, entertainment and leisure hub. The economic downturn stalled its progress, but due to the strong demand for quality office and retail space in Dublin, it is now the opportune time to recommence development of a new commercial and entertainment hub."

Nama chief executive Brendan McDonagh meanwhile claimed that the project "is part of the extensive land area within the SDZ connected with Nama and we look forward to supporting further significant planning and development projects within the SDZ over the remainder of this year and into 2016.

Savills' Roland O'Connell and CBRE's Mark Smyth believe the area "has witnessed a significant increase in footfall over the past 18 months".

"As a result, numerous high-profile office occupiers and retailers have been enquiring about accommodation at the Point Village. The proposed construction of The Exo in addition to other planned development - will only serve to increase that demand," they said.

A string of retailers, including Starbucks, Eddie Rockets and Piano Plus, will open in the Point Village next year.

Despite being part of the Dublin Strategic Development Zone, the planning process may not be plain sailing. Kennedy Wilson were forced to rework their design for Capital Docks after the council said it did not have "exceptional architectural character" while another planned development at Bolands' Mills has also had to be tweaked.

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