New property projects could attract £1.3bn in investment for belfast
AN international campaign to entice investors to back major property developments in Belfast has been launched by the Government and economic development agency Invest NI.
They are focusing on seven projects with the potential to provide £1.3bn worth of property.
The launch comes at a time when demand is increasing among financial and professional services firms for office accommodation, while tourism growth is boosting demand for Belfast hotel rooms.
The largest of the seven projects is a £365m development at the Titanic Quarter, which would include film production facilities, 2,000 residential units and offices.
Initiated by Donegal man Pat Doherty of Harcourt Developments, the Titanic Quarter is the site of one of Europe’s largest urban waterfront regeneration projects, and last year Titanic Belfast was named the world’s leading tourism attraction. ‘Game of Thrones’ is also filmed in studios there.
More than 100 investors, businesses and education institutions including Citi and Microsoft are located in the quarter.
Titanic Quarter Limited, the development company, is now offering investors a choice of opportunities from £25m upwards, including Grade A offices at North Yard to be worth £25m; or the Financial Services Campus, £50m; Titanic Studios accommodating studios and post-production facilities worth £30m; Platers Yard Hotel, £35m, as well as 2,000 apartments.
The UK’S Department of Inter- national Trade (DIT) points out full and outline permission for the next 280,000 sq m of mixed-use development for Titanic Quarter is in place and is ready for investment. The types of funding to be considered include traditional funding, equity, joint venture and development Funding.
Simon Mcevoy of Savills reckons there is latent demand for about 750,000 sq ft of office space in the Belfast market at present.
The timing of the campaign also looks good in terms of rental trends. In 2015 office rents were as low as £14 per sq ft but they are now over £20 per sq ft.
The Titanic Quarter is being presented as one of the main property investment opportunities in Belfast. Inset: Simon Mcevoy of Savills