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Londonderry House office revamp will mean 100 construction jobs

By John Mulgrew

Around 100 construction jobs will be created with the redevelopment of a major city centre office building in a £4m investment.

And those behind the revamping of Londonderry House on Chichester Street say the office building will be able to hold around 450 workers when fully let. It is due to be approved by Belfast City Council's planning committee this evening.

Paddy Kearney of Kilmona looks set to redevelop Londonderry House and construct an eight-storey office and retail building.

Planners have recommended the mixed-use retail and office scheme be given the go-ahead. The area had previous planning approval on the site, which included the green light for a 10-storey office building.

Belfast planners said the existing office building "does not make a positive contribution to the character of the conservation area and thus its demolition is acceptable".

A final decision is due to be made at the planning committee meeting.

The refurbishment work is part of a £4m investment.

Commercial property firm Lambert Smith Hampton is acting as agents for the scheme.

Stephen Blaney of Coogan & Co, the architects behind all of Kilmona's city centre regeneration schemes, said: "This scheme will see a transformation of an old building, after a decade of non-use.

"The work, which we hope to start after Christmas, will see 55,000 sq feet of new, headquarters-type, grade A office space added to the city centre's offer in line with the council's vision for high quality office space in the city core."

Stuart Draffin, director and head of agency at Lambert Smith Hampton, said: "We are delighted to be involved in the speculative redevelopment of this high profile building. The location, proposed specification and timescale for delivery has already attracted interest from a number of high profile potential occupiers. The redevelopment of Londonderry House will also have a positive knock-on effect for other office and retail locations on Chichester Street."

Just last month, Mr Kearney was given planning permission for a £55m office building. The Lanyon Central development is due to be built beside Central Station in Belfast.

Kilmona has said it hopes to create as many as 350 construction jobs over a two-year period. It added that the buildings would be able to hold 2,500 workers once completed.

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