Belfast Telegraph

£3.5m building a 'prime office opportunity'

By John Mulgrew

A major city centre building - aiming to help meet demand for office space here - has gone on the market for £3.5m. Located just behind Belfast City Hall, 4-5 Donegall Square South is a five-storey site which has been put on the market by commercial property agents Lambert Smith Hampton.

It's being marketed as a "prime office refurbishment/redevelopment opportunity", given a severe lack of top-end office space in the city.

It was formerly home to HSBC - which is now at Harvester House - and Aviva, which moved to Lanyon Place.

The only tenant still in the building is the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Stuart Draffin, head of agency at Lambert Smith Hampton, said that he is confident there will be big interest in the property.

"We expect a high level of interest from potential developers, owner occupiers and investors," he said.

"Given the current lack of grade A office product within Belfast, the subject offers a fantastic opportunity for refurbishment or redevelopment overlooking Belfast City Hall."

The building includes 28,000 sq ft of floor space, and also six car park spaces.

It's one of several office buildings which have gone on the market over the last few months.

A prominent city centre building owned by Danske Bank and home to Belfast's Welcome Centre is also on sale for £5.75m.

The six-storey building - which is located at 8-10 Donegall Square North across from City Hall - had been home to administrative staff for Danske and Visit Belfast, which operates the tourist information office at the Welcome Centre.

The centre moved to the ground floor unit of the building back in 2013, moving from its site close by.

It was built at a cost of £1.82m in the refurbished unit.

It's understood that the property had gone on the market previously, but the building wasn't sold.

Meanwhile, the former head office of the now defunct Botanic Inns pub group has been sold.

Maxol House on the Ormeau Road was on the market for offers around £850,000.

There have been numerous warnings and reports that a lack of top-end office space is a major concern for Belfast.

And a report from Invest NI warned Northern Ireland could lose out on attracting crucial foreign direct investment due to a lack of prime office space.

Belfast Telegraph