City cen­tre build­ing set for ma­jor over­haul af­ter sell­ing for £2.5m

Belfast Telegraph - - BUSINESS - BY JOHN MUL­GREW

A MA­JOR city of­fice build­ing could be­come a mixed-use de­vel­op­ment af­ter it was sold for more than £2.5m.

The red-brick build­ing at 2933 Bed­ford Street was sold to an undis­closed North­ern Ire­land de­vel­oper.

It was on sale for £2m, but it is un­der­stood to have sold for more than £2.5m. It is be­lieved a deal is due to be com­pleted in the com­ing weeks.

Ac­cord­ing to Ian Duddy of com­mer­cial prop­erty firm Col­liers, which was mar­ket­ing the prop­erty, there had been a high level of in­ter­est in the city cen­tre build­ing.

“There was a depth of enquiries and a pool of buy­ers... we have a happy client and a good re­sult,” he said.

It is un­der­stood the build­ing could be­come a mixed-use scheme, which could in­clude re­tail, leisure and of­fice space.

The Bed­ford Street prop­erty

The Bed­ford Street prop­erty sold for over £2.5m

sits be­side the JD Wether­spoon pub and Pizza Ex­press, cov­ers a to­tal of 13,300 sq ft and is cur­rently home to some short-term lets.

Part of the build­ing, at num­ber 29, was built in 1875 and played host to a linen man­u­fac-

turer, Robert David­son, un­til around 1890, ac­cord­ing to the web­site Fu­ture Belfast.

The build­ing is lo­cated across the road from BBC North­ern Ire­land’s head­quar­ters, as well as sit­ting close to In­vest NI, Deloitte and EY.

The de­vel­op­ment, which is made up of two red-brick of­fice build­ings, in­cludes a 40-space car park at the rear. The spa­ces are leased on li­cence agree­ments at a to­tal rent of £43,800 each year.

Just me­tres away from the build­ing, plans are un­der way to turn the Movie House cinema into a new £65m of­fice scheme.

It is the brain­child of the Rich­land Group, headed by prop­erty de­vel­oper Gary McCaus­land.

Else­where, a prop­erty de­vel­oper is fac­ing an­other hold-up over plans to de­mol­ish a 19th cen­tury Belfast build­ing to make way for a new nine-storey of­fice block.

Kil­lul­t­agh Es­tates, run by Frank Boyd, wants to knock down the ex­ist­ing Clarence Gallery at Li­nen­hall Street.

A num­ber of ob­jec­tions were raised over the scheme. That led to the firm sub­mit­ting a scaled­back ver­sion in new plans.

Mean­while, an in­ter­na­tional cam­paign to en­tice in­vestors to back ma­jor prop­erty de­vel­op­ments in Belfast has been launched by In­vest NI.

The ini­tia­tive is 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.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey, the take-up of of­fice space in Belfast more than dou­bled in the third quar­ter of this year.

Fig­ures pub­lished by Lis­ney Real Es­tate Agency re­vealed 91,557 sq ft of of­fice space was taken up dur­ing the quar­ter, but the firm warned the sup­ply of units in prime re­tail lo­ca­tions was dry­ing up.

The value of sig­nif­i­cant com­mer­cial prop­erty sales in the last quar­ter went up to just shy of £200m, with ma­jor prop­er­ties still on the mar­ket in­clud­ing Long­wood Re­tail Park in New­town­abbey, which is priced at £47.8m.

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