Belfast seems to be receiving a fair amount of attention from developers of late, with numerous projects currently underway at various stages of completion throughout the city. Planning permission was recently granted for a £20m office development at Merchant Square, while the Chichester House development aims to create Belfast’s very first ‘future-fit’ office hub and create 150 construction jobs in the process. Now another project has been added to the growing list of planned developments in the city, as Northern Irish real estate agency Cromac Quay Ltd recently partnered with local property developer Francis Jennings to create a brand new £20m office block on the riverside Gasworks site on Ormeau Road.

An artist's impression of the proposed development   - Img: Belfast Telegraph
The project is currently in the early stages of planning and development, with the developer set to host a community consultation event in advance of applying for full planning permission.

Placelab Director John Smylie, whose company has been tasked with designing the new 100,000sq ft development, offered some extra insight into what exactly the project will entail. He told the Belfast Telegraph, “The offices will have views over the park. It is mixed-use, office-led, with around 100,000sq ft. We have a coffee shop in there, quite a large one, and we also have a covered arcade at the site which will overlook the existing walkway.

“We are trying to enhance [the area]. It is not some sort of paper exercise. The client is committed to doing something positive with the site.

“On the roof, we will have some apartments. It’s a mixed-use development, so there will be the residential bit; it’s south-west facing, fantastic views over the park and river.

“It is a prestigious and well-designed scheme, and one that has, at its core, the concept of place making.”

The new building will be situated beside the existing call and sales centre of Lloyds Banking Group, and marks the latest in a string of high-end developments aiming to rejuvenate the commercial property market of Belfast via the provision of additional grade-A office space.

In order to encourage further development of sites within the city, Belfast City Council is actively seeking proposals for its £18.8m City Centre Investment Fund, which has been created with the intention of encouraging businesses to engage in the development of high-quality office space. This follows on from a somewhat worrying report from Invest NI, which warned that Northern Ireland may lose out when it comes to attracting crucial foreign direct investment as a result of its lack of grade-A office space. That being said, if the current rate of development in the city continues to hold, that likely won’t be a problem in the near future.


Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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