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The Waterside in Belfast, Northern Ireland

An opportunity to invest in a prime waterfront location in central Belfast – something that’ll cater for the office, hotel, serviced apartments, residential and private rental sectors.

This project occupies one of the best locations in central Belfast. The site is only 750 metres from the refurbished Lanyon Place Train Station, which is a major terminus for commuter routes and hosts the cross-border Enterprise service to Dublin.

The site comprises 6.5 hectares/16 acres of prime riverfront land. Investor involvement is entirely flexible with a range of options available to interested parties.

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Location:

Belfast

Investment type:

Capital investment - real estate

Sector:

(Greener buildings, Real estate, Mixed use)

Project promoter:

Swinford (Scirocco) Ltd

Scale:

£450 million GDV

Planning status:

Full planning consent

Time to Final Investment Decision (FID):

0-6 months

Sector and market opportunity

Over the next decade, the site should benefit from £1 billion of co-investment from Belfast Region City Deal initiatives. This will include Innovation and Smart Districts, amongst other forms of intervention.

These public sector investments help de-risk the opportunity and provide stimulus for occupier demand. Terms have recently been agreed with Moda Living to construct a 500-unit build-to-rent development on the site. A variety of commercial and residential sectors can be catered for by this site which can built out over a number of phases.

Location

The Waterside enjoys an attractive location, overlooking the River Lagan adjacent to Belfast’s commercial core. The area has already benefitted from a strong legacy of some £750 million of public and private sector investment, stimulated by Laganside Corporation, to include attractive riverside public realm.

Northern Ireland is uniquely positioned within the UK in that it has retained tariff-free access to both the UK and European Union. Moreover, Northern Ireland is the only United Kingdom land border with the rest of the European Union.

Connectivity

Belfast enjoys excellent road, rail and air infrastructure connectivity right across the British Isles. It is only a one-hour flight from London and under 2 hours’ drive to Dublin, plus 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. Belfast also has 2 hospitals, each with considerable research and development (R&D) opportunities.

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

Over 70% of companies choose to reinvest in Northern Ireland. It’s already home to more than 1,100 international investors, including Allstate, Citi, Seagate, Spirit Aerosystems, and FinTrU.

Research and expertise

The Waterside is viewed as a major investment opportunity within the Belfast Region. Terms have recently been agreed between the project promoter and Moda Living to construct a 500-unit build-to-rent development on the site.

This will be a catalyst for further construction. The recent 8,400 square metre/90,000 square feet extension to Belfast Waterfront Hall nearby shows further business confidence in the locality.

Further details

The Waterside is a mixed-use opportunity. It can cater to multiple sectors through the provision of Grade A offices, retail, community and cultural, leisure, residential, hotels and serviced apartment uses.

Northern Ireland is known for its business-friendly attitude. It holds the top position as an international investment location for US cyber security firms and is also the world’s top region for financial services technology.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) highlights

The Waterside got its inspiration from renowned Danish architect Henning Larsen.

It incorporates cutting-edge sustainability credentials such as orientation of buildings and buildings height and massing to ensure the most efficient design and usage of built space possible.

Promoters and partnerships

The project promoter is a privately owned Irish company that has developed approximately £1.8 billion of projects across 4 continents.

The internationally renowned architect, Henning Larsen, has created the masterplan for The Waterside. The promoter is also aided by a host of Belfast based experts including Lambert Smith Hampton, Colliers and Forum.

Local and national government support

The opportunity has close alignment with local government policies such as the Programme for Government, The Belfast Agenda and the Belfast Region City Deal.

Other opportunities

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