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IT company to lease floor of new Soloist multi-storey office block

An IT firm has taken up the second floor of one of Belfast's newest office blocks.

Cloud computing and mobile technology specialist Aepona will lease part of a five-storey, £15m scheme The Soloist at Lanyon Place on the city's waterfront, due to be completed next year.

The company - which also has offices in Bristol, Wicklow, Denver, California and Sri Lanka - currently has an office at the Interpoint building in York Street employing around 70 people.

The move was confirmed in the latest Belfast office report by property consultants CBRE, which revealed that a total of 46,652 sq ft was signed for in the third quarter of 2012, bringing the total for 2012 to just over 190,000 sq ft in a total of 36 deals.

CBRE director David Wright said that news of the Aepona deal will give "a great deal of encouragement to the market".

"It will now mean that The Soloist will be completed early in 2013 and provide much-needed Grade A space for the city centre."

He said Dublin has let over seven times the amount of space as Belfast in the same period.

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"This is a trend that we see repeated every quarter," said Mr Wright. "Despite higher rents and higher wage costs in the south they continue to outperform our market, which proves that the lower corporation tax regime is a main driver in attracting foreign direct investment companies to the Republic.

"If Belfast and Northern Ireland are to compete on a level playing field then our tax rate must be reduced."