Harbour announces stage three of its City Quays office scheme
A major £30m office development in Belfast could break ground as early as next year after architects were appointed to design the scheme.
City Quays 3 is the latest stage in Belfast Harbour's waterside renewal and will stand 17 storeys tall when completed.
It will join the existing first office building and City Quays 2, which is currently being built and will include a hotel as well as a car park.
Belfast company RPP Architects has been appointed to design City Quays.
The £30m waterfront development at City Quays 3 is one of the largest planned for Belfast and could accommodate up to 1,600 people.
Graeme Johnston, Belfast Harbour's property director, said: "City Quays 3 is aimed at providing much needed office accommodation for both growing indigenous businesses and new market entrants. Belfast's attractiveness as a business location has been evidenced by the types of companies already located within the Harbour Estate and we will continue as part of this project to provide a best-in-class building within which they might choose to locate."
Outline planning permission for City Quays 3 was granted in 2014 as part of the wider £250m development. The harbour says it hopes to submit a planning application early next year, with a target completion date of mid-2019.
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Harry McConnell from RPP Architects said: "We have worked closely with Belfast Harbour on some of their recent developments and are excited to have been appointed to support bringing City Quays 3, as a landmark building, to the Belfast skyline.
"For 40 years we have been developing market leading construction projects and see City Quays as not only a boost for the construction industry, but the city as a whole."
A separate planning application is also in the works for a 900-space multi-storey car park required to support the City Quays development.
City Quays 1 is already fully let and home to law firm Baker & McKenzie, Cayan and Golf Now.
Graeme Johnston said: "Demand for grade A city centre office space, which meets the highest standards, remains strong in Belfast.
"City Quays 1 was fully let within a short period after completion and interest in City Quays 2 is exceptionally strong.
"We've already held initial discussions in the market about City Quays 3 and sentiment is positive.
"By 2020 Belfast Harbour aims to have developed almost 600,000 sq ft within City Quays, having invested over £100m and regenerated the entire City Quays waterfront."
In June, City Quays was awarded a top prize at the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Awards for the design and build of its first office development.