Microsoft breaks ground on €134m campus in Dublin, Ireland

Today, Microsoft Ireland broke ground on its new €134m (about $152 million US) campus in Leopardstown, Ireland. The new campus is located on the southern side of Dublin and just down the street from Microsoft’s current main office in Sandyford.

As reported earlier this year by Independent Ireland, the new office complex will house all of the company’s existing 1,200 full time employees currently in Dublin. Cathriona Hallahan of Microsoft also told Independent Ireland that the company may seek to expand its operations in Ireland. Hallahan further said:

“Our focus is to evolve the investment here and to demonstrate that we can attract European talent here in Ireland. We see ourselves as a gateway into Europe.”

Ireland has become an important part of Microsoft’s operations. And their commitment and continued investment in its Irish operations is almost certainly welcomed news to the Island nation that has been struggling with high unemployment rates and low property values since the global recession began in 2008.

Microsoft Ireland

For some quick background, both pre and post recession economic growth in Ireland has been intrinsically linked to many foreign companies setting up shop there. The resulting phenomenon of rapid foreign direct investment during the 1990s and the mid-2000s made Ireland known as the “Celtic Tiger,” akin to the Tiger term attributed to fast growing Asian economies of the same time period. Much of that growth was directly attributed to Ireland’s very favorable corporate tax rate and the nation’s membership in the European Union, as well as its growing tech community and highly educated workforce.

Consequently, many technology companies have located European Headquarters in Dublin and other Irish cities where a sizeable amount of their cash holdings remain offshore. As we reported earlier this year, an estimated $108.3 billion of the Redmond Washington based company’s profits sits outside of the US, much of it in Ireland. Other technology companies such as Apple follow very similar arrangements with their holding companies. Most recently this has resulted in a tech boom in Ireland known as an area of Dublin earning the nickname the ‘Silicon Docks.’

But as Microsoft points out, today’s groundbreaking also celebrates the company’s 30-year history in Ireland. The country is also where Microsoft setup their first Data Center located outside of the US. Notably, as we reported last month, that Data Center has also become the center of a U.S. Federal Court case in which Microsoft is withholding private email data from US investigators. Microsoft is keeping this information from US authorities on the grounds it is unlawful and an invasion of privacy, in the hopes that US lawmakers will clarify the issue.

In total the new campus will be over 370,000 square feet of office space on a wooded 7.4 acre campus that should be an impressive new headquarters for Microsoft’s sizeable Irish workforce.

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