Early Boost for 2016 as Landmark Office Investment Comes to Market
Belfast, January 19th 2016 – A landmark Grade A office building in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter with an asking price of c.£29 million has been placed on the market by property consultants CBRE, signalling a positive beginning to the 2016 commercial property market in Northern Ireland.
Click to download full report: CBRE Northern Ireland | Outlook 2016
The property, known as the Gateway Offices is a landmark office investment, whichwas completed in 2009 and comprises three Grade A interlocking blocks totalling 133,205 sq. ft. and was the first office building outside the SE England to achieve LEED Gold Standard. It is currently let to CitiBank. Commercial property consultant’s CBRE announced that they are bringing the building to market at their annual Outlook briefing this morning.
It was also predicted at the briefing that this year will see further positive development activity in the commercial property market in particular the office, hotels and student accommodation sectors where several new schemes are expected to lodge planning or commence construction over the course of the next 12 months.
Brian Lavery, managing director, CBRE Belfast commented:
“The Gateway Offices is the largest office investment offered to the market in the last decade. It is one of the most prominent office buildings in Belfast and with prime rents expected to increase from £16 per sq. ft. to £18 per sq. ft. in 2016, it presents a great investment and asset management opportunity for investors to capitalise on a buoyant office sector.”
James Eyre, commercial director at Titanic Quarter added:
“Titanic Quarter continues to grow with over 1.5 million sq. ft. of space completed and occupied to date. The development comprises major film productions, leading-edge R&D, financial services, the world’s largest Titanic visitor attraction (which has over 1 million visitors a year) and the ARC, Belfast’s most desirable waterfront apartment development. Over 18,000 people already live, work and study in Titanic Quarter. Gateway Offices provides an excellent investment opportunity.”
Brian Lavery, further commented:
“As we predict in our Outlook 2016 report, the office sector is expected to see an increase in the volume of activity in 2016 from projects entering the planning stage during this year through to new speculative developments. There is only a small volume of stock due to be delivered this year and yet demand for Grade A office accommodation continues apace. Therefore, Belfast needs more high quality buildings similar to Gateway Offices to offer to new occupiers. As a consequence, we expect strong bidding for the Gateway Office investment and anticipate it to be the first major sale of 2016.”
In terms of activity across other aspects of the property market he added:
“Retail saw a healthy 2015 and the biggest challenge it faces in 2016 will be securing accomodation for retailers in many of the most highly sought-after schemes and high streets considering that many of these are now close to, or at, full occupancy. On this basis we are likely to see growth in rents in prime high streets and shopping centres but not outside of these locations.
“Tourist numbers in NI are expected to reach 2 million in 2016, benefitting the hotel and leisure sector. Another sector we see development apace in 2016 and 2017 will be the student housing sector.”
Speaking at the launch of their Outlook 2016 report, Marie Hunt, Head of Research at CBRE, said
“The announcement of the lower corporation tax rate to 12.5% in April 2018, with Northern Ireland to be the only region in the UK to offer this reduced rate, is hugely significant and exciting. However, to see maximum benefit from this change, work needs to commence this year to ensure that the necessary buildings, infrastructure, labour force and skillsets are available by the time it is implemented in 2018. Northern Ireland’s property market is at the beginning of a new and interesting phase.”
About CBRE Group, Inc.
CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2014 revenue). The Company has more than 70,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 400 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.
In Ireland, with offices in Dublin and Belfast, CBRE is the country’s largest commercial real estate services company, now employing over 160 employees and offering a full range of property services including property sales and acquisitions, leasing and management, investment, corporate services, debt advisory, project management, consultancy, valuations and research. Please visit our website at www.cbre.ie or www.cbre.co.uk/ni.