Bisnow Dublin: Rise & Shine: The Future of Dublin’s Workspace Industry

How Is Dublin’s Office Market Shaping Up in 2019?

It was a rainy day in Dublin but that didn’t stop people making their way to the Dublin Airport Central for the Bisnow event. Dublin Airport Central is Ireland’s next generation business destination, offering unrivalled international and national connectivity, directly opposite Terminal 2. Boasting a unique mix of business and social amenities, Dublin Airport Central is the ideal location for businesses to thrive and grow. The Bisnow Dublin event discussed new city quarter regeneration, campus developments, and sustainability.​ The morning started with networking and a breakfast buffet as well as strong coffee that was gratefully received by attendees before being called to the seating area to listen to the first panel of the morning. 


Here is a brief summary of the mornings discussions and presentations: 


Aerotropolis & Beyond: New City Quarter Regeneration


Moderator: Neil Bannon, Chairman, Bannon

  • Lorcan Tyrrell, Head of Development, Dublin Airport Central
  • Kate Moran, EMEA Culture Program Manager, Hubspot
  • Eoin Condren, Director, Ireland, U+I
  • Tomas Sexton, Director, Coady Architects
  • Philip Dunne, Senior Manager, Kellogg’s



The panel discussion kicked off by outlining how Dublin’s office market has dramatically changed over the last 30 years since the first Docklands Office buildings and suburban campuses were built. One of the main focus points of discussion was ‘attracting and retaining talent’ and how investment in remote working needed to be made. Kate Moran, EMEA Culture Program Manager from Hubspot said, ‘Tech companies can be seen as prisons but working is not about the 9-5 anymore’. The panel agreed that flexibility is key and working practice should be built around people. Of course, there are drawbacks to this as one panellist pointed out that there needs to be timezone considerations for companies who have employees all over the world. The panel also discussed how finding what works for people is important as everyone works differently. Some people have good productivity in the office whereas others struggle to concentrate when at home.

The panel noted how the city centre has changed and how there have been similar changes in Sandyford, Citywest, Cherrywood and more recently Dublin Airport. One of the issues to be tackled was density and how Citywest is a remarkable business park but one that is sprawling and how it takes 15 minutes to reach the Luas from parts of the business campus. Housing was another topic of discussion with 20somethings wanting to live in the city centre but being forced out due to prices and lack of affordable housing supply. Sustainability was identified as a huge challenge for the industry. 


Equiem Presentation


Adam Malik, Head of Business Development from Equiem gave a presentation before the break about the growing importance of the tenant experience and what Equiem actually does. Equiem was founded in Melbourne, Australia, and they are the global leader in tenant experience for commercial real estate. They have a proven track record of delivering results to commercial  clients and their customers worldwide.

Equiem provides the only true end-to-end platform in market; delivering the technology, strategy, execution and level of support you need to achieve your tenant experience goals.

Equiem powers over 60 million square feet of real estate globally and they have launched and operate over 125 tenant experience platforms across a variety of asset types and classes – executing both technology and engagement services for our clients, all custom and tailored for each building. Adam Malik said, ‘millenials are more interested in experiences than salary according to PWC’. He also acknowledged that the organisation’s  ‘war on talent’ is now intrinsically linked to the landlord’s ‘war for tenant.’ 


Adam Malik gave three takeaways from their morning presentation:

  • Change your mindset – Individuals are King or Queen
  • Tailor your approach – Not everyone wants to do yoga!
  • Embrace technology – Understand the analytics and use them for actionable insights


The Era of Campus Developments: How will the Workplaces of the Future Transform?

Moderator: Carol Tallon, CEO, Property District Ireland

  • Philip Matthews, Director, Turner and Townsend 
  • Geraldine Ruane, COO, Trinity College 
  • Keith O’Neill, Executive Director, BNP Paribas Real Estate 
  • Gary Cooper, Development Director, Ronan Group


The panel started with a discussion about the office developments of the mid-noughties and how the HR director/manager back then did not have a voice in decisions around new office locations. Going back a decade or two, there was not the same emphasis on fit-out and community spaces on campuses or considerations for showers, locker rooms or gyms. As discussed in the previous panel, staff retention is now about so much more than just about salary. Geraldine Ruane, COO of Trinity College, spoke about innovation within campuses and how students are more mindful of wellness, sustainability and climate change. Student activism in the college is welcomed and Geraldine meets with students to discuss issues within their campus. 

Transport links were discussed and how overcrowding is reported on transport links regularly. There seems to be a disconnect between infrastructure and alternative transport or micro-mobility such as e-scooters, according to the panel. The public transport issue is critical and the panel agreed that infrastructure improvements had to be made to encourage talent to work in the city centre. Millennials want more. Ease of access to their workplace is a major consideration when deciding where to work. Dublin is competing with other cities and retaining staff could be a major issue in the coming years if we fail to build areas up instead of allowing urban sprawl. 

Gary Cooper was vocal in his support of ‘going higher’ to support greater efficiencies and he got asked questions from Carol Tallon on density. It was suggested that Ireland needs ‘leaders of policy’ and bravery in planning to see the Government policies adopted. The panel discussed the article by Olivia Kelly in the Irish Times where Rachel Kenny, Director of Planning for An Bord Pleanala  (in her personal capacity and not in her role with the board) who will, this week, become the first female fellow of the Irish Planning Institute, called for a ‘more open-minded attitude’ to strategic housing developments (SHD). 

The panel concluded by calling for ‘braver decisions need to be made’. 

Well done to the organisers of the Bisnow event and you can find full details on their upcoming events in Dublin here. 



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