Facebook, Google Seek to Expand Dublin OfficesBy: Mike Fossum - February 23, 2012
In Dublin, 40% of offices bought or leased in 2011 were held by American companies, and internet companies like Google and Yelp are seeking more space in the Irish capital. Facebook seeks to double the size of it’s Dublin office, where its European headquarters sits, according to The Washington Post.
After Ireland borrowed $113 billion from the European Union for an economic bailout in 2010, labor, commercial property values and rents were driven down, prompting the government to seek initiates to attract more foreign investment. According to CBRE Group, Inc., U.S. businesses got a hold of 9 times more space in Dublin in 2011 than in 2007.
During a recent roundtable meeting with noted U.S. investors at New York University, Bill Clinton said, “now is the time to invest in Ireland, where property is a steal and you’ve got the best educated workforce and everybody is all dressed up with no place to go.” Commercial rents in Dublin are now roughly 55 percent lower than when the market peaked in 2007. Labor productivity in Ireland rose 7.6% since 2008, the second biggest jump of the 27 countries that make up the European Union, according to a study by Constantin Gurdgiev, an adjunct lecturer in finance at Trinity College in Dublin.
A year ago Google acquired the tallest office building in Dublin, and recently opened a retail store in that city. Facebook is looking to double the current size of it’s Dublin offices, and is considering leasing the former Bank of Ireland headquarters building. More than 350 people work at its Dublin office at present. LinkedIn Corp., has also leased Dublin office space in 2011, and increased the number of employees to about 175 from 30 since then, according to Barry O’Leary, the Chief Executive Officer of IDA, the government agency responsible for monitoring overseas investment. O’Leary goes on to say, “Ireland was the fifth most expensive location in the world for office accommodation in 2007, today it’s 45th.” U.S. tech companies have obviously picked up on this.