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The Wait Is Over — Facebook Confirms Ballsbridge Campus Deal

Artist's rendering of the new Facebook campus in Ballsbridge

Ending months of speculation, Facebook has confirmed it has agreed to lease a 14-acre site in Ballsbridge that will provide over 650K SF of offices and capacity for up to 5,000 additional employees.

At the moment, the company employs 4,000 people across four locations: its international headquarters in Grand Canal Square, Samuel Beckett Building in Dublin 3, Clonee Data Centre in Meath and Facebook Reality Labs in Cork.

Facebook has not specified exactly how much office accommodation the Ballsbridge campus will provide but said the deal will quadruple its total current space in Ireland to 870K SF.

The company described the deal as a complex arrangement with a number of different parties and leases that are "long-term and over 20 years plus".

Facebook has been in negotiations for over a year with various parties, including AIB, occupier of six existing blocks; the Serpentine Consortium, owner of four of those blocks; and Davy Target Investments, which owns the other two.

The Facebook campus will also include Ronan Group Real Estate's two-block, 355K SF Fibonacci Square scheme on the 3.7-acre site of the former AIB Bankcentre building. This part of the campus will have capacity for around 3,250 staff. Work has started on-site and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Facebook Ireland head Gareth Lambe said the new campus will provide employees and partners with a state-of-the-art, modern work environment with collaborative spaces, training spaces and an outdoor plaza with seating areas.

“As the site will be renovated in phases, the move will happen over three years and will see all 2,000 employees, currently based in Grand Canal, in the new campus by 2022,” Lambe said.

Facebook said it will move its full-time employees to the Ballsbridge site, while contract employees will remain in contract partner sites such as the Samuel Beckett Building.

AIB has reportedly signed a series of agreements to gradually exit the site by the end of 2020. Last October the bank agreed to lease Iput’s 115K SF 10 Molesworth St. as its new headquarters. It is expected to move to the building in the first half of 2019.

The bank has also taken almost 160K SF at Green Reit’s Central Park, where it has moved over 500 technology and support staff, and is on the verge of announcing a third location.