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Harbour seeks approval for third phase of Quays project

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland is on track for one of its biggest ever office developments as Belfast Harbour applies for planning permission for the £46m third phase of City Quays.

The Harbour has said it's seeking the green light from Belfast City Council for City Quays 3, which will have 16 storeys with the potential to house 3,000 workers. Its construction is expected to bring jobs for up to 600 builders.

Already, the first and second phases of City Quays have attracted top-end company tenants such as international law firm Baker & McKenzie, while broadcaster UTV will set up home at City Quays 2 next year.

And a 188-bedroomed AC by Marriott Hotel, featuring a restaurant by renowned chef Jean Christophe Novelli, will also open at City Quays next year.

Graeme Johnston, Belfast Harbour's property director, said: "Upon completion in 2019, Belfast Harbour will have invested £120m in City Quays and developed 450,000 sq ft of Grade A office space supporting both foreign direct investment and indigenous businesses.

"As with the two previous offices City Quays 3 will be a speculative development, which is a reflection of how strong demand for this quality of office space in Belfast is.

"We will be tendering for a contractor in tandem with the planning process which we expect to be swift due to outline planning approval being in place."

And he said the development would be built to high sustainability standards "and will include roof terraces and winter gardens taking advantage of the waterfront cityscape views".

"Located between City Quays 2 and the new AC by Marriott hotel, the office will also benefit from its proximity to a new public square that is currently being developed as part of the wider City Quays scheme," added Mr Johnston.

Other City Quays tenants include Cayan, MACOM and BRS Golf, NBC Sports, GolfNow and the Golf Channel. City Quays 3 has been designed by Belfast-based architects RPP.

The Belfast Telegraph revealed in February that UTV would leave its former offices in Havelock House to take up residence at City Quays 2. The move was confirmed by the company, which is now part of ITV, last week.

UTV is taking over the eighth floor at the top of City Quays 2.

Speaking last week, head of news and programming Terry Brennan said: "We are delighted to have secured the entire eighth floor of this prestigious new building which is in a prime location in central Belfast for our new UTV headquarters.

"We can see how beneficial this location will be."

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