Belfast Telegraph

Agency to provide development funds

Nama is to provide £15 million to finish two office blocks in Belfast.

The Irish Republic's asset management agency is financing completion of Lanyon Plaza and Soloist Building on the banks of the River Lagan.

Development on both sites, which are close to the Waterfront Hall complex, stalled over three years ago because of the property market crash and global recession.

Nama chairman Frank Daly said the agency was happy to fund projects that could deliver a commercial return.

"The Agency is committed to providing more funding to debtors based in Northern Ireland in addition to the £123 million we have already approved," said Mr Daly.

"We would urge debtors to share their proposals with us, as we want to fund projects that can deliver a strong commercial return."

Mr Daly who is also chairman of Nama's Northern Ireland advisory committee was addressing a delegation from the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) in Dublin. He claimed the project at Lanyon Place would generate substantial employment opportunities during the construction and fit-out phases.

The 90,000 sq ft Soloist Building was designed by world famous Norwegian architect Neils Torp. Construction work on phase one of the £17 million property finished in 2010.

Lanyon Plaza is a 100,000 sq ft, 15-storey office block with a fully glazed facade which cost an estimated £45 million. It also includes apartments, retail space and basement parking. Construction, which started in 2007, ground to a halt three years ago.

The Stormont Finance Minister Sammy Wilson said Nama's intervention was a vote of confidence in the local economy. He said: "Lanyon Plaza and the surrounding buildings including the Waterfront Hall are landmark buildings for Belfast City Centre and today's announcement will ensure that Lanyon Plaza will not now be lying idle. This is very positive news in what has been a very positive week for Northern Ireland around today's latest job announcement with the creation of 416 jobs, the G8 summit and President Obama's visit."


From Belfast Telegraph