Jewellery business diversifies into property with 'trendy' Belfast office plans
The parent company of Northern Ireland jewellery business Argento has diversified into offices with a number of investments in Belfast city centre, Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
Denvir Holdings, led by Pete Boyle and his wife Ciara Denvir, has bought Laganview House on the corner of Ann Street and Oxford Street through its company Angus Properties.
It has now let out three storeys of the building to software company Teamwork, which said it was investing $1.2m in the site. Bridal shop WED2B is housed on the ground floor. Angus Properties is also working on office projects on Queen Street and Lombard Street.
The diversification by the wider business comes after it netted £7m from the sale of 26 Pandora stores in Scotland and England. The shops were sold back to Danish company Pandora.
Mr Boyle told the Belfast Telegraph that the company had gained experience from renovating listed buildings to turn them into shops, and had decided to do the same for office space.
"We had just created a new office space for Argento in a derelict building and we thought we should do this for other people," he explained.
"After the sale of 26 stores to Pandora we had capital to invest and we saw an opening for creating interesting and cool spaces in old or listed buildings in Belfast."
Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.
He said they planned to limit commercial projects to offices aimed at the tech sector.
It is now redeveloping a red brick warehouse on Queen Street into "trendy" office space while a 7,000 sq ft office on Lombard Street is being turned into a "boutique-style" office space.
Mr Boyle acknowledged the retail industry was a "difficult place" but that some companies remained "great tenants".
Areas outside the city centre were improving he said, adding that department store chain John Lewis may now be glad it didn't get planning permission for a large store in Lisburn.
"Urban villages like Belmont and Ormeau are now doing much better but it's hard to imagine anyone will ever build another shopping mall," he said.
"I suspect John Lewis is very grateful that planning turned down the Sprucefield site," he added.
Cork-based Teamwork last year announced it's creating 85 new jobs in Belfast. Its software products are designed to help workplace teams operate more efficiently.
A spokeswoman said Laganview House's "superb location and views has allowed us to create an outstanding, comfortable workspace for our current and future Belfast staff".