Belfast Telegraph

Media hub goes on the market

Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

A prime city centre office block which has been home to several media organisations has come onto the market after being placed into receivership.

Fanum House, an 11-storey building on Belfast’s Great Victoria Street, and associated properties, including pub and live music venue Filthy McNasty’s, are being sold by Osborne King.

Those assets and other high profile properties belonging to Jermon Developments — including Killymeal House in the Gasworks in south Belfast — were placed into receivership in June this year.

Anglo Irish Bank is understood to have appointed Tom Keenan of Keenan CF as receiver to those properties, as well as retail parks in Strabane and Larne.

Other parts of Jermon Developments’ portfolio remain in the company’s control.

A planning application was submitted earlier this year for a 146- bedroom hotel on the site. Discussions have been held with Accor Hotels about developing the hotel under the banner of the Novotel and Etap brands.

Jermon Developments was set up in 1997 by Peter Dolan, a former pharmacist from Co Tyrone.

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A spokesman for Osborne King said: “The subject property is a prime development opportunity set in the heart of Belfast city centre.

“It is a high profile location a short distance from Belfast City Hall with excellent transport links both north and south via the Westlink and the Great Victoria Street train/bus terminal. Nearby occupiers include The Europa Hotel, Fitzwilliam Hotel, Ulster Bank and The Equality Commission.’’

The site has redevelopment potential for a number of commercial and residential uses, subject to all necessary planning consent being obtained.

Fanum House offices were first let by the Irish Times and RTE in the early 1970s, although RTE has since moved to the Centrepoint building on Ormeau Avenue. Its then Northern Ireland correspondent Kevin Myers famously broadcast from the roof of Fanum House.

The Irish Times is one of few tenants remaining in Fanum House.

The mulit-storey building draws a rent of £64,421 while its car park, which has 69 spaces, has a rental value of £62,750.

Osborne King is selling the properties in two lots. The first lot includes Fanum House and its car park and the second lot includes Filthy McNasty’s and a charity shop, Cancer Connect.

Belfast Telegraph