Belfast a prime location in UK for property investment: delegation
Belfast has been described as the prime UK location for commercial property investment at an event in London.
Investors and public sector leaders, including Belfast City Council chief executive Suzanne Wylie, were in London to make the case for further investment in the city, including highlighting its "unique" position as a bridge between the UK and the EU following Brexit.
The event was held at the London headquarters of law firm Pinsent Masons, and supported by commercial property agency CBRE. A spokesman said the delegation also discussed the potential benefits of the Belfast Region City Deal, as well as discussing examples of global companies, such as Citi and Allstate, which have invested in the city.
Earlier this year, Citi confirmed the purchase of the 133,000 sq ft Gateway building in Belfast's Titanic Quarter. Citi had occupied the building as its sole tenant since it was completed in 2009.
The global bank made its move into Northern Ireland in 2005, and is now one of the biggest employers here.
US-owned Allstate, meanwhile, started out in Northern Ireland as Northbrook Technology in 1998, and in 2018 invested £30m in new offices in the city for its 1,300 staff.
Brian Lavery, CBRE Northern Ireland managing director, said: "We have proven to investors time and again that Belfast is a profitable investment opportunity and many of our clients have benefited from its success over the last few years.
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"There are a number of initiatives - such as the Belfast Region City Deal - which mean the city is primed for further sustained growth in the future and now is the time to commit."
Andrea McIlroy-Rose, partner and head of the Belfast office at Pinsent Masons, said: "We have witnessed the transformation of Belfast as a destination of choice for inward investors during the last few years."
Suzanne Wylie, chief executive of Belfast City Council, said she had "bold confidence" in the future prosperity of Belfast. She said: "From the strongest commercial property yields, an increasing demand for space from a wide range of occupiers, and a pipeline of inward investors which rivals some of the biggest cities in the world, Belfast can be proud of its growing reputation and proven track record of delivering for investors."