De Irish Times 'all men are bastards' thread

Would someone with an IT subscription be able to post Una Mullallys article today about commercial property? I'd be interested to read it

Thanks in advance

Edit: Just got it there. What a load of absolute bullshit. Una must really be struggling for content at the moment
 
Last edited:
Here's her piece:

The facts of office vacancy in Dublin are well known. It is going to get worse. Where are the policies to address this huge issue?

Last Friday, Killian Woods in the Business Post reported on a new piece of analysis by BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland, saying Dublin would require 78,000 extra jobs to fill the oversupply of 250,000 square metres of office space that will be embedded in the city by next year. This is the equivalent of more than 15 times the number of full-time Google employees in Ireland, 10 times the personnel of the Irish Army, more than twice the number of post-primary school workers in the entire country, and more than 14 times the size of Dublin City Council’s staff. On what planet is this even logical?

To put the size of this office space oversupply in context, an area of 250,000 square metres stretches from the National Gallery, westward to Marks & Spencer on Grafton Street, north to the intersection of O’Connell Bridge on the south quays, and eastward to Talbot Bridge, taking in almost the entire Trinity College campus. This is an area of 62 acres, or 34 soccer pitches.

Considering there are just currently 330 rental properties listed on Daft.ie (including student accommodation and bedsits for rent) across the entire city postcodes of Dublin 1, Dublin 2, Dublin 7 and Dublin 8 combined, someone is not joining the dots. The number of new workers that would be required to fill this space – should that even be possible, which it’s not – betrays the complete absence of any kind of cohesive planning, not just regarding labour market projections, but especially regarding housing.










[ How Dublin’s unloved offices could become homes: ‘It’s easier to convert Irish office buildings’ ]

Ghost offices pockmark the city. They are the new ghost estates. This was utterly predictable. When I cycle around the capital now, as I do almost every day, the streetscapes are becoming increasingly incoherent with vacant office buildings, most of which are incredibly ugly. Now we’re stuck with them. Vacancy and dereliction are often illustrated by the old and the crumbling, but that’s only part of the problem (and it is a big problem in itself). Dublin’s new era of vacancy is high-end office blocks. This is an astonishing, almost cavalier use of land, construction power, materials and time. For what? We don’t need any more of this stuff.

The urban fabric of Dublin is increasingly becoming defined by dysfunction, and a key strand of this dysfunction looks and feels an awful lot like Celtic Tiger-era delusion
When I look at these hulking blocks now, in Smithfield, on Dawson Street, around Tara Street, all I can think of is how amazing it would have been had flats been built instead. There could have been thousands of affordable homes built in the city centre instead of this foolhardy construction. At a time when we’re told it’s almost impossible to build housing due to construction costs – despite the fact that there is an acute demand for housing – there appears to have been no issue in throwing up office blocks at volume, scale, and speed, despite the collapsing demand.

The depressing part is the waste. We’re not making any more land. For now, as people sleep on the streets, as families are holed up in hostels and hotel rooms, as refugees and asylum-seekers pitch tents, as adults fall asleep in their childhood bedrooms wondering when the day will arrive when they can decorate their own place and have friends over for dinner and solve the world’s problems across their own kitchen table, as immigrant workers are stacked in bunk beds in what are effectively tenements across the capital, as students fall asleep on buses while they commute to Dublin for hours to attend their college lectures, as couples and families queue in the rain to view flats with dozens of others, as young people travel to the airport and port as they are exiled by the rental crisis, and as people are evicted, the sound of silence already echoes through the countless empty corridors of dead-end office blocks in Dublin city. Their vast lobbies are desolate, the sunlight shaded by “to let” vinyl signs stretched across floor-to-ceiling glass. The boardrooms gather dust. And the clattering of construction continues. There’s still more to come.



Woods also reported that three-fifths of the office space under construction in Dublin has no future tenants lined up. This is madness. The pace of job growth in Ireland is slowing. A jobs growth of 78,000 – required to fill these new offices – is 1,000 more jobs than mayor Eric Adams is predicting for New York City for 2024, while that city’s comptroller is much more pessimistic, predicting a growth of 27,000 jobs. That’s a city of eight and a half million people, the largest municipal economy in North America, and characterised as the world’s largest financial, media and advertising centre.

The urban fabric of Dublin is increasingly becoming defined by dysfunction, and a key strand of this dysfunction looks and feels an awful lot like Celtic Tiger-era delusion – but this time around it is the commercial – not residential – property market that is on the brink. The wheels have come off, and no one is shouting stop.

*******
 
And here's an interesting article about converting offices into houses:



There is little love for Dublin’s stock of 20th century office buildings. These concrete blocks, largely built from the 1960s, were loathed by Dubliners almost since their construction, and are now increasingly also being rejected by the commercial market.

The office market favours the new, and with commercial vacancy rates reaching 15 per cent in the city, tenants have their pick of keenly priced lettings among the flashy new builds in the city’s docklands.

The default response when an office building has come to the end of its productive life has been to clear the slate and start again. But with the twin pressures of the housing crisis and the climate crisis, has the time come to consider that, while someone may not want to work in an old concrete carbuncle, maybe they might want to live there?

Bad offices could make great homes, says architect John Dobbin of Shay Cleary architects, who 18 months ago began working on a study of the viability of residential conversions of Dublin’s older office stock. “We could see this starting to happen in the US and Canada, and we wanted to figure out how it might work in Ireland, because our office buildings are very different to theirs and in many ways they’re actually easier to convert.”









The 1958 Office Premises Act, which laid down minimum standards for all office buildings employing more than five people, began the office boom in Dublin but also gave these buildings some of their “unique” characteristics, says Dobbin. “The Act said that there had to be natural ventilation – windows that opened – and daylight. This, in conjunction with wanting to build in the cheapest way possible, resulted in concrete framed buildings, that were relatively shallow, 13m to 14m wide. Whereas in the US they built deep plan air-conditioned buildings that are more difficult to convert due to the predominantly dark and deep floor plates.”

He says the ceiling heights in Dublin’s older office blocks are considered too low for modern workplaces but compare favourably with much of the city’s apartment stock built in recent decades. “You would have ceiling heights of 2.7m or 2.8m potentially, and that’s like a Manhattan loft, which is considerably higher than some of the places that are marketed as prime residential in the city.”

A downside of the Dublin office block, and one often cited to argue against their residential conversion, is that their central corridors and sometimes blank rear facades could result in single aspect apartments, but Dobbin says this is a challenge for architects to overcome. “We’ve come up with a solution which works with the existing fabric of those buildings to create duplex units. By chance, with the standard Dublin office building this is bang on the correct size for the national guidance on apartment sizes.”



Until recently it was more economically viable to keep these blocks as offices even if they were underutilised, but Dobbin says that viability gap has narrowed considerably.

“When we started this study 18 months ago the gap between the value of the building as office building and the value of it as residential was about 25 per cent. That gap is narrowing all the time as the values of office buildings fall. Conversion is still an expensive operation, but the most important factor in many ways is not the cost of materials or reconstruction, it’s time,” he says.

“It’s a hell of a lot quicker to do a conversion job on the existing structure than it is to demolish and rebuild the frame. You are literally talking years in the difference. That’s years of interest payments, years of finance costs. The way things are with the planning system you could go for planning and be stuck there for 18 to 24 months, or more in some cases.”

There is also the economic reality that companies don’t want these buildings any more because they don’t meet modern environmental, energy rating or size standards. “There’s really a two-tier market emerging here, and the Grade A space, recently built with sustainability embedded, is what occupiers want.”

However, planning policy is showing a greater reluctance to permit demolition, which is where the environmental reasoning for retaining and converting these buildings comes into its own.

“There’s a huge amount of carbon locked into the structures of those buildings. It almost goes without saying now that the most sustainable and carbon efficient building is always the one which already exists. To demolish these structures is now an unacceptable act of carbon profligacy in a climate emergency. In the building industry we have to count carbon like calories, and we need to continue to apply more and more of that science to the benefits of adapting buildings, extending them, keeping all of that carbon inherent in the building. It’s just absolutely the right thing to do.”

In addition to the climate imperative the strongest argument for converting these buildings to residential is their potential to bring life back into the city centre.

“Most of these 20th century blocks were built on the sites of demolished Georgian houses, full of people living there who were effectively shanghaied out of the place by new office construction. Imagine somewhere like Lower Mount Street filled with people living there, taking part in city life, therefore supporting retail, supporting services and reenergising those parts of the city.

“If the owners of office blocks can’t afford to renew them, and can’t demolish them, and it’s not worth selling them, what’s going to happen to them? We may not solve the housing crisis by converting office buildings, but it would improve the fabric of the city and they would make superb places to live.”


*****
 
Here's her piece:

The facts of office vacancy in Dublin are well known. It is going to get worse. Where are the policies to address this huge issue?

Last Friday, Killian Woods in the Business Post reported on a new piece of analysis by BNP Paribas Real Estate Ireland, saying Dublin would require 78,000 extra jobs to fill the oversupply of 250,000 square metres of office space that will be embedded in the city by next year. This is the equivalent of more than 15 times the number of full-time Google employees in Ireland, 10 times the personnel of the Irish Army, more than twice the number of post-primary school workers in the entire country, and more than 14 times the size of Dublin City Council’s staff. On what planet is this even logical?

To put the size of this office space oversupply in context, an area of 250,000 square metres stretches from the National Gallery, westward to Marks & Spencer on Grafton Street, north to the intersection of O’Connell Bridge on the south quays, and eastward to Talbot Bridge, taking in almost the entire Trinity College campus. This is an area of 62 acres, or 34 soccer pitches.

Considering there are just currently 330 rental properties listed on Daft.ie (including student accommodation and bedsits for rent) across the entire city postcodes of Dublin 1, Dublin 2, Dublin 7 and Dublin 8 combined, someone is not joining the dots. The number of new workers that would be required to fill this space – should that even be possible, which it’s not – betrays the complete absence of any kind of cohesive planning, not just regarding labour market projections, but especially regarding housing.










[ How Dublin’s unloved offices could become homes: ‘It’s easier to convert Irish office buildings’ ]

Ghost offices pockmark the city. They are the new ghost estates. This was utterly predictable. When I cycle around the capital now, as I do almost every day, the streetscapes are becoming increasingly incoherent with vacant office buildings, most of which are incredibly ugly. Now we’re stuck with them. Vacancy and dereliction are often illustrated by the old and the crumbling, but that’s only part of the problem (and it is a big problem in itself). Dublin’s new era of vacancy is high-end office blocks. This is an astonishing, almost cavalier use of land, construction power, materials and time. For what? We don’t need any more of this stuff.


When I look at these hulking blocks now, in Smithfield, on Dawson Street, around Tara Street, all I can think of is how amazing it would have been had flats been built instead. There could have been thousands of affordable homes built in the city centre instead of this foolhardy construction. At a time when we’re told it’s almost impossible to build housing due to construction costs – despite the fact that there is an acute demand for housing – there appears to have been no issue in throwing up office blocks at volume, scale, and speed, despite the collapsing demand.

The depressing part is the waste. We’re not making any more land. For now, as people sleep on the streets, as families are holed up in hostels and hotel rooms, as refugees and asylum-seekers pitch tents, as adults fall asleep in their childhood bedrooms wondering when the day will arrive when they can decorate their own place and have friends over for dinner and solve the world’s problems across their own kitchen table, as immigrant workers are stacked in bunk beds in what are effectively tenements across the capital, as students fall asleep on buses while they commute to Dublin for hours to attend their college lectures, as couples and families queue in the rain to view flats with dozens of others, as young people travel to the airport and port as they are exiled by the rental crisis, and as people are evicted, the sound of silence already echoes through the countless empty corridors of dead-end office blocks in Dublin city. Their vast lobbies are desolate, the sunlight shaded by “to let” vinyl signs stretched across floor-to-ceiling glass. The boardrooms gather dust. And the clattering of construction continues. There’s still more to come.



Woods also reported that three-fifths of the office space under construction in Dublin has no future tenants lined up. This is madness. The pace of job growth in Ireland is slowing. A jobs growth of 78,000 – required to fill these new offices – is 1,000 more jobs than mayor Eric Adams is predicting for New York City for 2024, while that city’s comptroller is much more pessimistic, predicting a growth of 27,000 jobs. That’s a city of eight and a half million people, the largest municipal economy in North America, and characterised as the world’s largest financial, media and advertising centre.

The urban fabric of Dublin is increasingly becoming defined by dysfunction, and a key strand of this dysfunction looks and feels an awful lot like Celtic Tiger-era delusion – but this time around it is the commercial – not residential – property market that is on the brink. The wheels have come off, and no one is shouting stop.

*******
Thank you

Do you agree with her, or am I being unfair to call her analysis bullshit?
 
Thank you

Do you agree with her, or am I being unfair to call her analysis bullshit?
I think her analysis is bullshit. I do think however that the possibility of converting some of those offices into apartments as per the second article could help alleviate the housing crisis. I think the way that the site at the former Sextant was originally supposed to be for housing, and then offices, and now housing again, shows the way the market is changing.
 
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