Development opportunities keep coming as Belfast expansion continues

A revitalised King's Hall is intended to become the centrepiece of an extensive health and wellbeing park
A revitalised King's Hall is intended to become the centrepiece of an extensive health and wellbeing park

Development across Belfast continues to gather pace with details of the latest project in Titanic Quarter and progress on other schemes.

Expressions of interest are being invited from building contractors for the construction of Olympic House, a 150,000 sq ft Grade A, office development.

The project will be delivered by a joint venture between Belfast Harbour Commissioners and the owners of Titanic Quarter.

It will have a prominent position on the Queen’s Road, adjacent to the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the Belfast Metropolitan College and the Citi headquarters building.

Construction is anticipated to commence in Spring 2019 and will take around 18 months to complete.

Named in honour of RMS Titanic’s sister ship, Olympic House will incorporate two linked office blocks of six and seven storeys including a feature penthouse level.

Across the city a decision to give the go-ahead to the revevelopment of the Kings Halls is expacted from the City Council tonight.

In addition, consultation is expected to open shortly for the £40m Albion development of new luxury apartments for sale or for rent at Wellwood Street in the city centre.

Graeme Johnston, Belfast Harbour’s Property Director, said: “Bringing Olympic House forward to the tender stage is an exciting next step in the regeneration of Titanic Quarter and continued development of the Harbour Estate.

“Belfast Harbour is delighted to be working with Titanic Quarter in this joint venture to deliver Olympic House. There is continuing demand for new build Grade ‘A’ office space in Belfast and this building will be a valuable addition to the offer the City can make to both prospective FDI tenants and indigenous businesses.”

James Eyre, Commercial Director, Titanic Quarter, said:

“Titanic Quarter is already “home” for a number of global organisations in Northern Ireland as well as for local companies expanding their operations. Having the opportunity to offer a further 150,000 sq ft of Grade A office space to other similar occupiers will, I am sure, help to attract further investment from companies seeking to locate or expand their operations in Northern Ireland.”

The King’s Hall is the centrepiece of plans by Benmore and Octopus Healthcare partnership to create a £100m Kings Hall Health and Wellbeing Park.

The proposals for the first phase has been recommended for approval by Belfast City Council at tonight’s planning committee.

According to the developer the iconic building’s exterior will be revitalised but the new interior, which while the interior, providing health centre accommodation for new GPs, diagnostic services and other primary care professionals, will feature building’s original art deco roofline and windows.

“We are very excited,” said Benmore CEO David Burrows.

“The building is an icon that everyone recognises for its art deco frontage, but few people will remember the building as it was originally built, with stepped windows that flooded the building with natural light.

The Albion project, close to Sandy Row, goes out to consultation next week and would see the development of a car park site creating up to 250 construction jobs.

The project will reinvigorate a part of the city that has seen little investment in recent years and will create a vibrant, interconnected neighbourhood.

The announcement of the project coincides with an initiative from community workers in Sandy Row who are working to revitalise an area that has experienced population decrease from 25,000 to 4,000.

Ciaran Deazley, project architect from Like Architects said: “The Albion development seeks to provide a landmark building for inner city living. It has been designed as two buildings connected by a landscaped square, the high quality brick and glass façade will bring a contemporary presence and vibrancy to the area.”