Business

Plans formally submitted for £65m Bankmore Square luxury office scheme

How One Bankmore Square will look when developed

THE north's largest-ever office block has moved a step closer after plans for the £65 million project on the former Movie House cinema site on Belfast's Dublin Road were formally submitted to the City Council.

Developers the Richland Group are behind ‘One Bankmore Square', a 250,000 sq ft grade A office scheme complete with 8,000 sq ft of ground floor space for ancillary cafe, retail and leisure uses.

And if approved, the 12-storey building - which will have enough space to accommodate up to 3,000 employees - will be the first new speculative office development in Northern Ireland since The Soloist in 2008.

The application to rejuvenate that part of the city is the culmination of a highly collaborative and engaging pre-application discussion process with Belfast City Council planners, its consultees and members of the public.

"The proposed design has responded to the helpful feedback received and been amended to specifically address the design concerns raised. We're confident this will enable the planning application to be determined promptly,” said planning consultant Clyde Shanks.

He commissioned Barton Willmore to undertake an economic impact assessment of the proposed development, and it estimates that over the two-year construction period, the scheme will create 571 on-site jobs and another 343 indirect construction jobs.

The completed development will provide employment for 2,962 staff and will have an operational economic benefit of £128m a year. It will also rake in £1.1m in business rates each year.

Richland Group chief executive Gary McCausland said: “One Bankmore Square is a quantum leap for Belfast's office market, bringing world-class grade A office accommodation to the heart of the city centre in a single phase development.

"We have assembled a brilliant home-grown professional team to deliver this exciting project and we look forward to seeing it through to completion in 2020.”

Joint letting agents Savills and Lambert Smith Hampton said the proposed scheme "has already caught the imagination of the business community and general public", and say there is already a keen level of interest from potential tenants.

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