Belfast Telegraph

Million pound sale shows Belfast's booming commercial property market

By Jamie Stinson

Belfast's commercial property market continues to soar after another city centre building was sold for well in excess of its £1.25m asking price.

The property on Adelaide Street will go through extensive refurbishment to convert it into Grade A office space. The on-site work will began early next year and be finished by quarter four in 2015.

The former Ireland Brothers site was purchased by Redbay Developments, based in Bangor, for an undisclosed sum. This is its first commercial venture in Belfast, but the firm has previous experience of the commercial property market in London.

The 25,000 sq foot building being sold in excess of its original seven-figure asking price is a reflection on the demand for Grade A offices in Belfast, with some rents going for £15.50 per sq foot.

In January this year top level office space was being rented for £14 per sq foot in Belfast. The figure is predicted to keep rising next year, with rents due to be in excess of £16 per foot in 12 months time.

David Wright, director at property agents CBRE, said the creation of more Grade A offices was excellent news for the city.

"The sale of this property and adjoining proposals to create Grade A office space is excellent news, not only for Belfast city centre, but the wider Northern Ireland economy," he said.

"A major shortage of Grade A office space in Northern Ireland has been widely reported for some time now and could impact negatively on the level of FDI (foreign direct investment) coming into the local economy."

There is expected to be a lot of interest in the offices, with it likely to go to a firm in the telecommunications, media and technology sector, Mr Wright said.

Belfast Telegraph