YOU'VE HEARD OF a brain drain? Well now they're talking about a "crane drain" from the north-western edge of Dublin where building operations have slowed down quite a bit in the opening weeks of this year.
The latest Jones Lang LaSalle "Crane Watch" report, out today, notes that there are now 18 cranes operating in Dublin north-west compared to 21 in the last three months of 2007 - by no means a significant fall but, on the ground, the cut back in building activities is more severe as developers board up sites until they have found buyers for housing stock already completed.
Elsewhere in the city, the number of cranes operating is happily on a par with the last quarter of 2007 as developers push ahead with office developments that have been mainly pre-let to thriving Irish companies. Not surprisingly, the biggest density of cranes (24) is now in the north docklands where a range of vast office schemes are under construction, as well as the National Conference Centre and the Point Village shopping centre. Treasury Holdings and Liam Carroll account for a great deal of the building activity in this once forlorn area. On the opposite side of the docks, there is a huge concentration of cranes around the Lansdowne Road rugby grounds as it slowly takes shape.
It is much the same out in Sandyford where those lucky enough to have secured planning permission before the planners' embargo came into effect are pushing ahead with a mixture of shops, offices and apartments. With 63 cranes in the skyline around Dublin city and suburbs, there is still life in the property market.
The Irish Times