Belfast Telegraph

Docklands headquarters of Northern Ireland Policing Board sold off

By John Mulgrew

The home of the Northern Ireland Policing Board has been sold, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal. Waterside Tower & North Tower at Clarendon Road, Clarendon Dock, were on the market for £4.5m.

The properties were being marketed by Osborne King.

It is understood the deal was completed this month.

The final sale price of the building has not been revealed.

The floor space of the building is 42,750sq ft.

It sits opposite Belfast Telegraph House, the new home of the Belfast Telegraph since the summer.

The property currently produces a gross rental income of £422,000 a year and its main tenant is the Policing Board, which will continue to occupy the bulk of the building.

No one from Osborne King wished to comment about the sale.

It comes after Belfast was named as one of the top cities in the world for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).

It is listed in position 18 of the top 25 cities in the 'strategy' section of FDI magazine's bi-annual Global Cities Of The Future ranking.

It looks at the success of cities in attracting foreign direct investment.

Belfast now ranks above Auckland, Montreal, Cape Town and Cologne.

Lord Mayor Brian Kingston said the latest FDI ranking "endorses what our investors already know - that Belfast is a great place to invest and do business".

"Such a high ranking has been achieved by the hard work of all our partner agencies in creating an environment attractive for investors, and bodes well for our growing economy," he added.

"By attracting foreign direct investment to the city, we are not only benefiting Belfast, but Northern Ireland as a whole.

"Our positive performance in the FDI report underlines that it is a good time to invest in Belfast.

"We have talent and skills in abundance, competitive operating costs, world class telecommunications connectivity and many other advantages over other cities. Belfast, quite simply, is a great place to work and live."

Meanwhile, a number of major Northern Ireland commercial properties have been sold this year, including several retail parks.

Junction One and The Outlet were sold to The Lotus Group in a deal worth £40m.

And Ballymena's Tower Centre shopping mall was bought by property developer Sam Morrison.

Financial services group Citi is expanding and taking over several floors of a former Danske Bank building in Belfast as it continues to grow its workforce in Northern Ireland.

The six-storey former bank building, which sits just across from Belfast City Hall, was sold for "comfortably" more than its £5.75m asking price at the beginning of the year.

A report last month from CBRE, a leading commercial property and real estate services provider, said Brexit had hit investor appetite for commercial property in Northern Ireland, though activity is expected to pick up between now and the end of the year.

The CBRE bi-monthly research report said £164.4m had been invested in 23 deals in the first nine months of 2016, compared to over £400m in 43 deals in the same period in 2015.

The agency said the referendum result had hit appetite for investment opportunities among UK institutions. But wealthy local individuals and British property companies were instead filling the void. It has also predicted that up to £100m in deals would be signed off by year-end.

Other deals this year include Damolly Retail Park in Newry, sold to fit-out firm MJM for £30.75m.

Lettings had been steady in Belfast in the first nine months of the year, with Pearson Management Services signing up for 15,400sq ft at Millennium House on Great Victoria Street.

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