RANDOM IMAGES FROM SEPTEMBER 2023 VISITS
Cherrywood SDZ is the single largest undeveloped land-bank in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, and is approximately 360 hectares in size, nestled at the foot of the Dublin Mountains, is strategically located between the M50 and N11 transport corridors approximately 1km north of where they fork from the M11 and approximately 8km south of Dún Laoghaire town centre. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, in recognising the area’s strategic importance, applied to the Government for Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) status and the Government designated it as an SDZ in May, 2010.
Cherrywood is being formed around the business park, in a deliberate process under a Cherrywood-Carrickmines Local Area Plan, the 2004 and later County Development Plans, and a related Cherrywood-Rathmichael Area Plan. Cherrywood is designated as a District Centre, and limits apply to certain forms of development there. In total the business park has an area of approximately 400 acres with. When I visited in 2018, much of it still undeveloped.
In 1998 the first office buildings were developed in what was then branded “Cherrywood Business Park”. Development proceeded slowly and, as with other planned developments in Ireland, the property crash in 2008 affected Cherrywood. In 2015, when several buildings were still empty while other planned developments were incomplete, some reports described parts of the development as a “ghost town”.
In 2012, investors created a new management company to market the area again after the collapse of Liam Carroll’s development company. This was backed by AIB Bank and Danske Bank (parent company of National Irish Bank). Parts of the area received a facelift, and the “facilities building”, which had previously only housed a food outlet, was expanded to include a gym. Most of the main office buildings are owned by the same company.
A new master plan was made and approved by the local authority, including plans for over 1,200 apartments and over 500,000 square feet of commercial space, including a hotel.
Following a €145m acquisition by Spear Street Capital of the eight office blocks comprising the development in January 2018, the business park was rebranded as “The Campus Cherrywood”. Proceeds from the deal were later used to develop the surrounding area.
Plans to open a new life-sciences incubation and acceleration facility in the area were announced in October 2021. The new facility was planned to provide 18 labs and 9 offices over 30,000 square feet of space, and create 100 jobs in the sector.