Belfast Telegraph

Agents seeking final offers for Washington House in Belfast city centre

Belfast’s High Street is on the up with River House being completely refurbished
Belfast’s High Street is on the up with River House being completely refurbished
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Final offers are being sought for the four-storey office and retail building Washington House in Belfast city centre.

It's understood offers have already been made for the High Street building - however, further bids are being sought by selling agents McConnell by noon on February 19.

Washington House, which has six tenants, has been put on sale by a charitable trust.

Commercial property agent Rory McConnell said he expected the building would be sold for refurbishment into offices or residential property. Of the six tenants, three are on leases which have expired, while the tenancies of another two are due to expire this year and next.

But a ground floor retail tenant is to remain until 2021. However, Mr McConnell said he expected any buyer would need a couple of years to finalise plans for refurbishment.

"Really, the building has gotten past its sell-by date, and it needs someone to come in and pick it up and invest in it, but that's not something that a charitable trust has an appetite for," he added.

But he said the building's High Street location was a major selling point with improvements to the area including the opening of the refurbished River House block of Grade A office space.

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"High Street is on the up with River House completely refurbished - and High Street itself is coming back with the Cathedral Quarter just around the corner," he said.

In a recent market briefing from McConnell, the agency said the market was showing some resilience despite uncertainty over Brexit and the effects of the two-year suspension of the Assembly.

However, it said that the absence of a deal was "seriously frustrating foreign direct investment into Northern Ireland and domestic business decision-making".

Belfast Telegraph