Belfast’s CastleCourt mall changes hands for £125m

CastleCourt has been a focal point in Belfast city centre since it opened in the 1 980s
CastleCourt has been a focal point in Belfast city centre since it opened in the 1 980s

One of the largest commercial property transactions to take place in Northern Ireland in recent years, has been completed by Wirefox Investment Group with the purchase of the CastleCourt centre in Belfast for £125 million.

Savills NI acted on behalf of Wirefox in the deal agreed with vendors Hermes Fund Managers Limited.

Wirefox is a Northern Irish-based investment firm with a portfolio of assets across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

CastleCourt Shopping Centre opened its doors in 1990 as Belfast’s first major shopping centre.

It is now the 3rd largest in Northern Ireland, with 340,000 square feet of space accommodating more than 100 retailers.

Located on Royal Avenue at the heart of Belfast’s retail district, the centre, anchored by Debenhams, boasts an annual footfall in excess of 12.5 million, and the city’s largest car park, with 1,600 spaces.

Other retailers based at the centre include Boots, Argos, Vodafone, Toys R Us, Dorothy Perkins, Jack & Jones and Costa. There is also strong interest from several exciting new entrants, which is likely to further enhance the retail offering over the next few months.

CastleCourt was originally developed by John Laing in the late 1980s on a site formerly the Grand Central Hotel and in 2004 underwent a significant refurbishment to upgrade the existing food court, car park and customer facilities.

“We’re delighted to have assisted Wirefox in their acquisition of CastleCourt – adding to their strong portfolio of property assets across the UK,” said Ben Turtle, head of office at Savills Northern Ireland.

“Despite the shock of Brexit and ongoing political uncertainty, the retail sector in Northern Ireland continues to perform strongly, with positive retailer performances and robust letting activity. With consumer confidence at its highest level since the third quarter of 2015, and the economy expected to grow at a faster rate than previously predicted, we expect Wirefox to reap the benefits of this high-profile acquisition.”