£12m of­fices on water­front at Gas­works now a step closer

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY RYAN MCALEER

A BID to construct a new £12m water­front of­fice block in south Belfast is now mak­ing progress.

Cro­mac Quay Ltd has sub­mit­ted its plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion to build a six storey of­fice de­vel­op­ment at the Gas­works site on the Ormeau Road.

Prop­erty de­vel­oper Fran­cis Jen­nings is among those be­hind the project, which has al­ready un­der­gone a pre-ap­pli­ca­tion com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion process.

The ap­pli­ca­tion was for­mally sub­mit­ted to plan­ners at Belfast City Coun­cil on June 1.

It seeks full per­mis­sion for a grade A of­fice de­vel­op­ment and ground floor cof­fee bar. It in­cludes as­so­ci­ated car park­ing at the plot next to 4 Cro­mac Place, with a proposal to partly re­tain and re­con­fig­ure the ex­ist­ing park­ing space.

The mixed use riverside prop­erty, which is be­ing de­signed by Place Lab, will boast around 100,000 sq ft of space.

The build­ing will sit be­side the ex­ist­ing Lloyds Bank­ing Group call and sales cen­tre.

The six storey block would be the lat­est marker in the on­go­ing ef­fort to pro­vide high-end of­fice ac­com­mo­da­tion across the city.

Di­rec­tor at Place Lab John Smylie said all the in­di­ca­tors sug­gest that de­mand for top-end of­fice space is strong.

“All the com­mer­cial agents are telling us that the de­mand is def­i­nitely still there.”

He said some al­ter­ations have been made to the ex­te­rior area around the project fol­low­ing the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion. “We have re­designed it a lit­tle bit and im­proved the pub­lic space.”

The plan will now in­clude a cov­ered ar­cade.

Mr Smylie said that the area sur­round­ing the new build would take on added im­por­tance fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of the stalled Hume Dun­lop cy­cle bridge, which will link with the Gas­works site.

He said the pro­po­nents of the new of­fice de­vel­op­ment had worked with plan­ning of­fi­cials to en­sure that suit­able pub­lic space would be in­cluded.

Plan­ning con­sul­tancy WYG is also work­ing on the project, along with the civil en­gi­neers Tay­lor & Boyd.

Cro­mac Quay Ltd’s of­fice bid comes on the heels of Belfast Har­bour’s £22m of­fice de­vel­op­ment as part of its City Quays ini­tia­tive.

Mean­while, Co Down-based build­ing firm Gra­ham Con­struc­tion has started work on the £17m Ersk­ine House de­vel­op­ment in Belfast city cen­tre.

HMRC is due to oc­cupy seven floors of the build­ing.

And a proposal by Rich­land Group to build a £65m 12-storey of­fice block on the Dublin Road, which will re­place the Movie House cinema, also re­mains on the cards.

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