Belfast Telegraph

Technology giant Allstate plans office complex in Belfast as it finalises deal to buy site

By John Mulgrew

Technology giant Allstate is planning to build a new major five-storey office development in east Belfast as it finalises a deal to buy the site, it's been revealed.

The Belfast firm has submitted planning permission for a new building beside the former Maysfield Leisure Centre in the east of the city.

It's understood Allstate has agreed to buy the area from Belfast City Council for an undisclosed sum. The site had been on the market for £1.7m.

And the firm - which employs more than 2,000 people across its three Northern Ireland sites - is still adding to its workforce after unveiling 650 new jobs would be in place by 2016.

It's not yet clear whether it means Allstate will move out of their existing base close by at Lanyon Place.

In February, AllState NI and WDR & RT Taggart Architects submitted a planning application proposing to develop the site.

The area extends to around 1.8 acres to the rear of the former Maysfield Leisure Centre - close to Central Station, on the banks of the River Lagan.

Belfast City Council would not comment on the sale of the mixed-use site or reveal how much it went for.

But it's been described as "sale agreed", with both parties in the latter stages of finalising the deal.

Allstate had no comment to make.

An initial development brief outlined by Belfast City Council said that "all bids must attain as a minimum the threshold level of £1.7m to qualify for further assessment".

It added that "financial bids below £1.7m will not be considered for further evaluation".

Allstate's application for planning also includes "associated car parking and landscaping together with realignment of existing car parking area".

Allstate NI is the largest IT employer in Northern Ireland with offices in Belfast, Londonderry and Strabane.

It was set up in 1998 as Northbrook Technology, before being rebranded 10 years later under the Allstate banner.

It's a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Allstate Corporation, which is the largest publicly owned property and casualty insurer in the US.

And the planning proposals come just a month after it was revealed call centre firm Concentrix is taking over the former Maysfield Leisure Centre building, next door to what could become Allstate's Northern Ireland headquarters.

Belfast Telegraph