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Norwich Union House, Belfast, Northern Ireland

A chance to invest early in a 7-storey, mixed-use project in Belfast. There’s a variety of finance options available, including equity share or traditional funding.

Norwich Union House is located in a vibrant and bustling area of Belfast, right next to the main retail area of Donegall Place.

The project will deliver a mixed-use, 7-storey building primarily for Grade A offices with additional retail and undercroft parking.

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Location:

Belfast

Investment type:

Capital investment - real estate

Sector:

Greener buildings

Project promoter:

McAleer & Rushe

Scale:

£70 million GDV

Planning status:

Detailed planning obtained

Time to Final Investment Decision (FID):

0-6 months

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Neil McIvor

Investment Opportunities Project Manager, Northern Ireland

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Sector and market opportunity

Well-known companies such as PwC and Deloitte have chosen Belfast as a regional hub for major talent. Belfast is already an attractive location, with a well-educated workforce and capable of attracting further major occupiers.

This opportunity can cater for such demand due to its core city centre location. Belfast also stands to benefit from £1 billion of investment flowing from the Belfast Regional City Deal projects, including ‘Belfast Stories’, a visitor hub in the city centre that will reflect the unique spirit of the city through a variety of media and immersive experiences.

Location

The project is situated within Belfast City Centre, an area that has numerous bars, restaurants and leisure amenities, as well as residential and commercial developments.

The site is also within easy walking distance of the £250 million expansion of Ulster University which will add about 18,000 students and staff to the city centre as well as the proposed £100 million ‘Belfast Stories’ City Deal visitor destination project, which is due to open in 2028.

Connectivity

This location enjoys excellent road, rail and air infrastructure right across the British Isles. It’s only a one-hour flight from London, under 2 hours from Dublin by car, as well as only a couple of minutes’ drive from both the M1 and M2 motorways.

Belfast has the highest availability of superfast broadband in the UK and the fastest direct broadband link from Europe to North America.

Local talent and skills

About 61% of all jobs in Northern Ireland are in Belfast. The country has a young and vibrant population, with 53% of the population aged under 40.

There are 2 world-leading universities in Belfast and over 73% of their research is deemed world leading or internationally excellent. Belfast also has 2two hospitals, each with considerable R&D opportunities.

These statistics demonstrate an attractive business environment which should provide demand for various sectors including Grade A offices, as well as a vibrant labour talent pool.

Already, over 70% of companies choose to reinvest in Northern Ireland and it is already home to more than 1,100 international investors, including Allstate, Citi, Seagate, Spirit Aerosystems, and FinTrU.

Further details

Planning has been obtained for a primarily Grade A office scheme, one with about 15,700 square metres/169,000 square feet of Grade A space.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) highlights

The project has a number of ESG highlights including:

  • a target BREEAM rating of excellent
  • a target EPC rating of A
  • 132 sheltered cycle storage to promote active travel
  • provision of showers and lockers to encourage mental and physical well-being during working hours
  • high efficiency LED lighting to include DALI dimming
  • zero operational waste to landfill

Promoters and partnerships

With over 50 years of experience, McAleer and Rushe is an established construction, development and investment Group that covers the UK.

It has developed in excess of 186,000 square metres/2 million square feet of office developments along with many high profile schemes in the student accommodation, hotel and residential sectors. It’s turnover is about £400 million per annum.

Local and national government support

The opportunity is closely aligned with local government policies such as the Programme for Government, The Belfast Agenda, and Belfast Region City Deal.

This opportunity is situated in an area of the city centre that will benefit from £350 million of additional investment, and which includes the new Ulster University campus.

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