Plans have been approved for a £38m property development in The Quays area of the city of Newry, it was announced today.
Parkergreen International, the local company behind the seven-storey office block, said work would begin next spring and that the Fisher House complex was 30% pre-let.
The target completion date is summer 2010 and the construction phase is expected to cost £20m and to provide employment for 150.
Dr Gerard O Hare, owner of Parkergreen, said Fisher House - named after the family firm that once ran coal boats from the adjacent quay - would be equipped with new technology and its green credentials would make it the most environmentally friendly development ever undertaken in the city.
He said: “In this period of economic gloom we are delighted to be able to offer this very exciting new development opportunity.
“It has already received a lot of interest from the business community and we hope that this new venture will bring further inward investment into the wider Newry area.
“Newry’s strategic location and the added benefits that come with being based in the city centre appeals to most businesses looking to trade north or south of the border or even globally.
“The development has the added advantage that through its ‘green’ credentials this building will also be environmentally sustainable.”
Dr O Hare added: “Following further detailed design and advance preparation construction works we hope that building will commence early spring 2009.”
Parkergreen said The Quays shopping complex, which it developed on a site overlooking the Albert Basin, was already well established as an office location for local and international businesses.
The Quays underwent a major expansion in 2004 when a £25m extension was completed, creating employment for 230.
Among the major retailers who have a presence there are Argos, Debenhams, Sainsburys, River Island and Next.
Newry has been a beneficiary of the upsurge in cross-border shopping which has been fuelled by the rise in value of the euro, which is currently worth almost 80p.
Retailers across the UK are hoping that a busy Christmas season will help them make up ground lost as a result of the economic downturn.