Former UTV home to become residential development

The former UTV headquarters is the latest city site to be redeveloped for residential use
The former UTV headquarters is the latest city site to be redeveloped for residential use

The former home of independent broadcaster Ulster Television in Belfast is to become the latest building in the city to be redeveloped for residential use its new owners have confirmed.

Havelock House, the former headquarters of UTV for almost 60 years, has been acquired by UK development firm, Olympian Homes in a sale handled by Savills Northern Ireland.

The commercial broadcaster is now owned by ITV and has relocated like many other businesses to the Belfast harbour estate.

Olympian now plans to redevelop the old building on the Ormeau Road into a professionally managed build-to-rent residential scheme.

The London-based firm has been trading for over 20 years and has delivered development schemes throughout the UK including key markets in London, Oxford, Manchester, Cambridge and Belfast.

The company is the lead developer for a major, residential-led, seven-acre site adjacent to the future HS2 terminal building in Manchester city centre and has submitted a planning application for a 488 unit build-to-rent (BTR)scheme over 24 and 30 storeys.

The acquisition of Havelock House will be the third scheme to be added to the company’s (BTR) development pipeline.

UTVhad been based at Havelock House since the broadcaster went on air in 1959 and for many years, the building was also used by television film crews around the world to process and edit film footage of the Troubles.

“The successful sale of Havelock House brings us to the end of the UTV office move project, and we are delighted that contracts have been exchanged,” said ITV finance director Oonagh Forster.

“UTV is now well-settled in its state of the art studio and offices at City Quays 2 at Belfast Harbour Estate.”

Simon Murray-Twinn, CEO at Olympian Homes, said: “This is an exciting addition to our investment in Belfast and our development will bring much needed homes for people working and living in the city centre.

“We aim to build a vibrant community who will enjoy the fantastic location which is a convenient walk into the central business district and the Gasworks opposite.

“We are looking forward to a positive collaboration with the city again to achieve a result much like we have seen with our recently completed student accommodation on Great Patrick Street.”

Simon McEvoy, divisional Ddrector at Savills Northern Ireland said: “From the launch of the sale, Havelock House generated strong local and international interest.

“We’re delighted with the outcome and look forward to seeing Olympian Homes progress its plans for the property.”