Making Facebook a practical reality at Cork's Capitol development

WITH news breaking this week of Facebook’s office space interest in Cork city centre’s rapidly concluding Capitol development, for a virtual reality company it has bought, all eyes will now turn to see who’ll come in underneath as co-tenants to such a stellar name in the game-changing €50m-plus complex.

 

The world’s largest social media company, Facebook, is in on-going but unconfirmed discussions for offices and a research base, in the heart of Cork city, at the former Capitol cinema site Grand Parade,also fronting on Patrick Street, as exclusively revealed in the Irish Examiner on Tuesday.

It is expected to accommodate as yet unrevealed visionary new roles Facebook envisages for its virtual reality investment, after its subsidiary Oculus VR last month bought a Cork-based start-up company InfiniLED. 

InfiniLED has pioneered research on low energy lighting; it developed out of the Tyndall Institute, linked both to UCC and Science Foundation Ireland, and was bought for an undisclosed sum.

It’s poised to take the top floor, of some 14,500 sq ft, of office/education space in the widely-heralded mixed use Capitol scheme. That floor area could accommodate 100-150 employees.

Other deals are well advanced on the remaining office space, with 54,000 sq ft of offices in all being delivered on large floor-plates, of 18,500-21,000 sq ft, above two lower levels of retail.

Rents sought are circa €32 psf, about half that of comparable office space in Dublin, where Facebook currently employs 1,800 at Grand Canal Dock, having arrived with 30 jobs in Dublin in 2008. Globally, Facebook employs 15,000.

The value of the October 2016 deal by Oculus to acquire InfiniLED was not disclosed when the takeover was confirmed.‘Next generation display technology’ InfiLED is one of several other fledgling and well-established start-ups acquired in the past two years by Facebook’s subsidiary Oculus VR.

Cork already hosts Apple’s only global HQ outside of the US, and has been European HQ for EMC for over 25 years. The Capitol site’s developers JCD already include EMC/Dell, VMware and Johnson Controls/Tyco among their FDI developments’ occupiers.

  • Meanwhile, retailers identities for the Capitol building may be confirmed before year’s end by developers John Cleary Developments and agents Savills, with Zara now firmly out of the final picture, sources say.

The overall development of the 0.75 acre former cinema site (which was initially assembled at a cost of €60m by a previous developer, Joe O’Donovan, and acquired last year by JCD from receivers for c €6 million) is set for occupancy from early 2017, and is expected to have a positive impact on a range of traders on the southern/western end of Patrick Street and on Grand Parade.

  • Details

    : www.jcd.ie, Savills 021-4271371

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