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Growing interest in Quays scheme as it goes about regenerating Belfast's famous riverside

By John Mulgrew

Published 07/06/2016

The first City Quays building already plays host to a number of well established firms, with more expansion to come
The first City Quays building already plays host to a number of well established firms, with more expansion to come
A mock-up of how the completed City Quays development will look
A view of the Belfast Harbour estate from the air

The City Quays development in the heart of the Belfast Harbour estate is helping to "complete the task of regenerating Belfast's city-centre waterfront".

That's according to Belfast Harbour's property director Graeme Johnston.

He said: "The office-led City Quays development, a cityward extension of Clarendon Dock, is helping complete the task of regenerating Belfast's city-centre waterfront.

"Interest in the scheme, from home and abroad, has far exceeded all expectations with the first 82,000 sq ft grade A City Quays 1 office fully let to high-calibre US-based occupiers only nine months after its completion."

The first City Quays 1 building now plays host to a range of big-name firms.

That includes one of the world's biggest law firms.

At the beginning of the year, Cayan, which was formerly called Merchant Warehouse, revealed it was taking up two floors of the City Quays 1 building.

Mr Johnston continued: "Construction work on the £20m, 124,000 sq ft City Quays 2 office is progressing well, with some very promising occupier leads already being developed for its completion in mid-2017."

Accommodation giant Marriott is set to take on the new City Quays hotel project in Belfast with its AC Hotels brand.

The hotels are 'lifestyle' brands, with each designed to reflect the character of its urban location.

It was given the green light by Belfast City Council in March.

"This scheme will offer cafe facilities on the ground floor fronting the water. Planning approval has also been secured for a 188-bedroom, four-star hotel with waterfronting signature restaurant - construction work is due to begin next month with a completion in early 2018.

"A reserved matters planning application for a 900-space multi-storey car park, required for both the offices and hotel, has been submitted for approval with a construction contractor on standby to commence works as soon as planning approval is received.

"These developments will be joined together with the installation of high quality public realm to match the extensively used waterfront walkway installed last year.

"Overall the £250m City Quays project will provide two million sq ft of space, including 820,000 sq ft of grade A office accommodation, together with supporting residential and retail uses.

"It will transform this part of the city centre and complement nearby regeneration projects such as Royal Exchange, Cathedral Quarter and the new Ulster University campus."

US-owned tech company MACOM Technology Solutions is also opening up a new Belfast office at the City Quays building, with plans to almost double its workforce this year.

Belfast Harbour is also seeking a lead architect for the City Quays 3 project, to prepare the design and plans for a building which could cover between 150,000 sq ft and 250,000 sq ft of space.

In April, BRS Golf, the brainchild of Belfast brothers Brian and Rory Smith, revealed it was taking the ground floor space in the Belfast Harbour office development, making it a full house at City Quays 1.

Mr Johnston added: "The fact that City Quays 1 is 100% let within 10 months of its completion is testimony to the quality of office space that it offers.

"Having worked with inward investors and Invest NI, we have tailored the design of the building.

"That ensures it meets the needs of modern global businesses which want to base themselves in Belfast."

Belfast Telegraph

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