EY Ireland narrows search for Dublin HQ to four developments

Big Four accountant and advisory business looking to nearly double its office space in city centre

EY Ireland has narrowed its search for a new headquarters in Dublin city centre to four developments, including one nearing completion by its current landlord, as it continues to expand in the Republic, according to sources.

The Big Four accounting and consulting firm set out earlier this year to find about 200,000sq ft (18,580sq m) of office space at a new location. It currently occupies about 100,000sq ft in a cluster of offices close to the Harcourt Street Luas stop in the capital, which it leases from the Kenny family’s Clancourt Group.

It has had a presence in the area since 1992. Most of its current leases are terminating at the same time, at the start of 2027.

The shortlist for new, larger offices includes Clancourt’s Four and Five Park Place, overlooking Adelaide Road and Harcourt Road in Dublin 2, which is nearing completion and will comprise 198,00sq ft of space across two blocks.


EY is also looking at office space being developed by Shane Whelan’s Westridge Real Estate on the old DIT Kevin Street site in Dublin 8, as well as part of the 540,000sq ft of offices currently being constructed by Pat Crean-led Marlet Property Group on the high-profile corner site of Tara Street and Townsend Street.

Social media group LinkedIn is also in talks to sublet or assign a 25-year lease it took out in early 2020 on Two and Three Wilton Park, which are currently under construction. The development is located beside the company’s existing European headquarters at Wilton Place, overlooking the Grand Canal in Dublin 2.

The Microsoft-owned company decided last year to scale back its office needs in Ireland as remote working reduced demand for space. Property group Iput owns the development and would have to agree to a reassignment of the lease.

A spokeswoman for EY Ireland declined to comment on the current stage of the firm’s search for a future headquarters. She said a plan announced last November to grow the firm’s workforce by 900 to 5,100 was proceeding “in line with expectation”, but did not give a current headcount.

EY’s search for a modern office building that meets the highest environmental and sustainability standards is being hotly contested by developers at a time when the available supply of office space is rising.

Dublin’s headline office vacancy rate was 15.7 per cent at the end of June, up from 6.9 per cent at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, according to property agent Lisney, driven by a surge in remote and hybrid working practices, multinational tech groups scaling back their property requirements, and the effect of economic and geopolitical concerns on businesses.

At the end of June, there was about 3.1 million sq ft of office space under construction in the capital, according to Lisney estimates.

Two of EY’s Big Four rivals in the capital, Deloitte and KPMG, have initiated similar processes in recent times.

In March, Deloitte said it had chosen Irish Life’s building at 1 Adelaide Road in Dublin 2 as its preferred location for a new headquarters in the capital. It will offer about 160,000sq ft of space to Deloitte, which had been planning a move before the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift to hybrid working that it kick-started. Previously it had sought 275,000sq ft, Deloitte chief executive Harry Goddard said at the time, before scaling back its plans somewhat.

KPMG, meanwhile, is expected to move into new headquarters in 2026 at the former Garda Dublin regional headquarters at Harcourt Square. The scheme is being delivered by Hibernia Real Estate Group.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times