The sale of an iconic Belfast building represents a significant development with Brexit looming large, says the solicitor who brokered the deal.
The landmark Victorian-era Cleaver House at the corner of Donegall Place and Donegall Square North – once occupied by the famous Robinson and Cleaver department store – has been sold to Dublin firm Furlong Construction for just over £16m.
They plan to rent out the units within the building. Some ground floor units are occupied – including the newly opened Cafe Parisien – and will be unaffected by the sale. Other units higher in the building are understood to be earmarked for offices.
Robert Sinclair, managing partner of Robert G Sinclair solicitors who facilitated the sale, said: “The sale is part of a number of large commercial transactions that we’re working on. It’s an iconic building, probably the nicest in Belfast.”
Mr Sinclair added: “There’s obviously the worry with Brexit and how it will affect things but that’s why it’s so interesting to see a southern company invest in Northern Ireland.
“It’s maybe a sign of things to come because property here in Belfast is so much cheaper than it is in Dublin.
“There is an opportunity for far-sighted investors in the south to invest in NI.”