New prop­erty projects could at­tract £1.3bn in in­vest­ment for belfast

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Business Telegraph - BY DONAL BUCK­LEY

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

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