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Around 50 new office buildings could be built in Belfast in next five years: Developments would hold 40,000 workers

By John Mulgrew

Published 15/11/2016

What the new Lanyon development in Belfast could look like
What the new Lanyon development in Belfast could look like

Almost 50 new office buildings capable of holding 40,000 workers could be built in Belfast in just five years, a report has claimed.

Commercial property firm Savills said that nine office developments – comprising 618,000 sq ft. – are currently under construction or major refurbishment in Belfast, with around two thirds of that already being reserved by companies.

Furthermore, there are 20 developments that have received planning approval but are not on site, while up to an additional 18 are in the planning or pre planning stages.

Simon McEvoy, head of office agency at Savills Belfast, said:

“New office construction and refurbishment in Belfast came to a complete halt as a result of the economic downturn and, with 1.2 million sq. ft. of take-up in the market since the last new office completion in 2012, we are now faced with a chronic under-supply of Grade A stock, which is currently sub 2% and falling.”

Office take-up in Belfast will reach 400,000 sq. ft. in 2016 – a 30% increase on 2015. As a result, demand is outstripping supply, the firm said.

“The lack of quality supply has long been discussed, however, the market lacked faith in the latent occupier demand and the potential for rental growth to reach levels to support new development,” he said.

“Now – as evidenced by the increase in planning applications – development has become viable again.”

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