Farrans Construction wins £50m contract to build tallest offices in Northern Ireland
The £50m contract to build Northern Ireland's tallest office building has been awarded to Belfast firm Farrans Construction.
Work on the City Quays 3 project is set to begin later this month, with 500 people expected to be involved in its construction phase.
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) gave the planning go-ahead for the major project in January.
When completed in 2021, the 16-storey tower will bring another 250,000 square foot of grade A office space to Belfast Harbour's waterfront City Quays scheme, which already houses 1,100 office workers.
Belfast Harbour said yesterday that City Quays 3 represents its largest development project to date.
Capable of accommodating up to 1,800 people, the finished building will bring to £125m Belfast Harbour's investment in the 20-acre site. It follows the £17m 900-space car park opened by Belfast Harbour in January.
The new office tower will be built near the M3 Lagan Bridge, on a vacant site between the AC Marriott Hotel and the City Quays 2 building, which is home to broadcaster UTV and other busineseses.
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John Armstrong, managing director of the Construction Employers Federation (CEF), welcomed the appointment of the Northern Ireland contractor just four months after planning approval was secured. "Farrans, its direct workforce and supply chain will bring a wealth of experience to the project and, at a time of ongoing political and economic uncertainty, the project's commencement will come as a significant economic boost locally," he said.
"Belfast Harbour is a major client for Northern Ireland's construction sector and the industry looks forward to working with it as it continues to expand on its economic contribution to Northern Ireland."
Belfast Harbour's chief executive Joe O'Neill, said: "City Quays 3 is one of the largest strategic investments ever undertaken by Belfast Harbour and we're delighted to award the contract to a local construction company. In addition to supporting 500 local construction jobs, the office will build upon City Quays' success by providing strategic accommodation to meet demand for grade A, city-centre office space.
"In just five years City Quays has emerged as an iconic waterfront destination for sectors including legal, media, IT and financial services," he continued.
"Our experience of developing in advance of market demand, and the subsequent success in securing occupiers, has led us to progress City Quays 3.
"This investment will assist both indigenous and new market entrants and we have already had very positive early discussions with a number of potential occupiers."
Glenn Gilmore, regional director at Farrans Construction, said: "Farrans Construction is delighted at our contract award on City Quays 3. The award of this prestigious contract, within the heart of the City Quays waterfront scheme, re-establishes our relationship with Belfast Harbour Commissioners.
"Our team have been heavily involved behind the scenes and this announcement is a testament to the professionalism and expertise of all our team working on the project to date."
The City Quays 3 application was submitted in May 2017 and sent to DfI for consideration. It was passed three months after new decision making powers were given to Northern Ireland civil servants in the absence of Stormont ministers.