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Ireland's tallest commercial building Windsor House in Belfast on market for £5m

By Lesley Houston

Ireland's tallest commercial building, the Nama-owned Windsor House in Belfast, has been put on the market for offers in excess of £5m. The sale through property agents CBRE of the 22-storey building at Bedford Street in the heart of Belfast's office district follows the collapse in 2012 of its former owners Lauderdale Properties

Lauderdale Properties bought the Bedford Street office block in 2007 with the reported intention of converting it into apartments.

However, it fell victim to the property crash when the joint venture between Dublin developer Ray Grehan and Cavan-based P Elliott construction group went into administration in February two years ago.

Nama then took control of the office block, which had been purchased through a Bank of Ireland loan which was subsequently transferred to Nama.

Nama appointed the administrator as part of a wider action against the developers which controlled Lauderdale.

And yesterday it was confirmed that the building has been put on the market and is being flagged as an ideal property for refurbishment for office accommodation, according to CBRE.

The building has also been tipped as prime for conversion into a hotel, residential or even student accommodation, subject to planning.

It is approximately 80 metres in height and 122,557 square feet, set over a ground floor and also incorporates two retail units and 96 car-parking spaces.

A sale at the asking price would mark a capital value price of £40.80 per square feet.

A transaction would also be capable of generating tax allowances through refurbishment utilising Business Premises Renovation Allowances (BPRA).

There is growing demand for grade A office space in Belfast.

Limited availability of quality office accommodation in the Belfast market is leading to a supply and demand imbalance.

The freehold property is currently producing a gross income of approximately £204,144 per annum.

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