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Google’s withdrawal from docklands deal unlikely to spell end of its Dublin empire

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Tech giant’s decision to back out of Sorting Office deal makes sense in Covid pandemic

While the precise reasons behind Google’s decision to withdraw from plans to take on an additional 202,000sq ft (18,766sq m) of office space at the Sorting Office in Dublin’s south docklands remain unknown, the move has unsurprisingly given rise to speculation and concern both within the commercial property sector and wider business community. It has also, disappointingly, been greeted with a certain degree of schadenfreude by those opposed to the exponential growth over recent years of Dublin’s so-called Silicon Docks.

All three responses have one thing in common. They are equally unhelpful and do nothing to advance our understanding of the matter.

So is Google calling the end of the office or an end to the expansion of its Irish operations?

When one considers the available evidence, the answer to these two questions may well be a straightforward “no”.

In the first instance, Google already owns or rents some 725,000sq ft of office space between its European headquarters on Barrow Street in Dublin’s south docklands, Eastpoint Business Park, and Sandyford. That footprint is set to grow to 1.12 million square feet through the addition of the 397,000sq ft under development currently at new Boland’s Quay campus.

Employees

When taken together, Google’s office estate will be capable of accommodating in the region of 11,000 workers, or some 3,000 more than the 8,000 people the company currently employs in the capital.

As impressive as these numbers are…

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