Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Agency to provide development funds

The asset management agency is financing completion of Lanyon Plaza and Soloist Building on the banks of the River Lagan

Nama is to provide 18 million euro to finish two office blocks in Belfast, it has been revealed.

The asset management agency is financing completion of Lanyon Plaza and Soloist Building on the banks of the River Lagan.

Development on both sites, which are close to the Waterfront Hall complex, stalled over three years ago because of the property market crash and global recession.

Nama chairman Frank Daly said the agency was happy to fund projects that could deliver a commercial return.

"The Agency is committed to providing more funding to debtors based in Northern Ireland in addition to the 144 million euro we have already approved," said Mr Daly.

"We would urge debtors to share their proposals with us, as we want to fund projects that can deliver a strong commercial return."

Mr Daly who is also chairman of Nama's Northern Ireland advisory committee was addressing a delegation from the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) in Dublin. He claimed the project at Lanyon Place would generate substantial employment opportunities during the construction and fit-out phases.

The 90,000 sq ft Soloist Building was designed by world famous Norwegian architect Neils Torp. Construction work on phase one of the 20 million euro property finished in 2010.

Lanyon Plaza is a 100,000 sq ft, 15-storey office block with a fully glazed facade which cost an estimated 53 million euro. It also includes apartments, retail space and basement parking. Construction, which started in 2007, ground to a halt three years ago.

The Stormont Finance Minister Sammy Wilson said Nama's intervention was a vote of confidence in the local economy. He said: "Lanyon Plaza and the surrounding buildings including the Waterfront Hall are landmark buildings for Belfast City Centre and today's announcement will ensure that Lanyon Plaza will not now be lying idle. This is very positive news in what has been a very positive week for Northern Ireland around today's latest job announcement with the creation of 416 jobs, the G8 summit and President Obama's visit."

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