£5m upgrade to make flexible offices feel like an hotel, says Ballymena firm Magell Limited
A property developer based in Co Antrim has said it will "transform" flexible workspace in Belfast as it spends £5m on an office block in the city centre.
Magell Limited said the 30,000 sq ft Eagle Star House on Upper Queen Street will feel more like a hotel than an office when its refurbishment is finished.
The building is to open for business early next year and will offer what the company calls "design-led workspace", with 500 desks on eight floors.
It also plans to convert the nine-storey Beaufort House on Wellington Place, which will add 600 desks.
The concept of flexible workspace has taken off in the city over the last few years, with locations including River House, the Scottish Provident Building and Ormeau Baths, Irish company Glandore's premises on Arthur Street and StepSpace, flexible office accommodation aimed at tech companies in Centre House on Chichester Street.
Magell is a third-generation business run by the Walker family in Ballymena. It's now recruited flexible office expert Jamie McCoubrey - who previously worked for Glandore - to head the new venture.
Magell director Ryan Walker said: "We have taken time to view the current best in class offering across the UK and internationally and we plan to take flexible office space in Belfast to a new level.
"Our prime city centre locations are close to the main transport hub and will offer businesses of all sizes unique access to private offices with flexible leases that facilitate their continued change and growth.
"Additionally, Eagle Star House will feature co-working space, meeting rooms, lounges, a large roof terrace, and spaces for events and networking, all finished to a specification not seen before in Belfast."
Mr McCoubrey added: "The needs of businesses are constantly evolving and that includes their requirements for workspace.
"As the first truly design-led flexible workspace in the city, our new generation offering will meet those needs by matching flexibility with exceptional style and quality.
"The buildings will feel more like hotels than offices, with a level of sophistication and detail that will rival anything currently available in Dublin and London.
"We have already received strong interest from clients seeking to join the next generation of flexible working and look forward to welcoming them through the doors early next year.
"We look forward to revealing more about our offering, our new brand, interior design and layouts in the weeks ahead."