Business

Landmark Belfast office block sold for in excess of £15m asking price

Belfast Harbour has acquired Obel 68, a 52,000 sq ft Grade A office building on Belfast’s waterfront adjacent to the 85 metre (279 ft) Obel Tower.

A BELFAST office building located beside Ireland's tallest building has been sold for in excess of its £15 million asking price.

It has been confirmed that Belfast Harbour has acquired Obel 68, a 52,000 sq ft Grade A office building on Belfast's waterfront adjacent to the 85 metre (279 ft) Obel Tower.

Obel 68, part of the Obelcomplex that includes the Obel Tower, is let to international law firm Allen & Overy and was brought to the market by Lisney in early May.

It is one of a pair of high profile office investments brought to the market by Lisney in recent months; the other being the 70,000 sq ft Metro Building on Donegall Square South, which is currently under offer, having been marketed at offers in excess of £21m.

The sale of Obel 68 to Belfast Harbour, which operates Belfast Port, follows hot on the heels of Lisney's £16.4m off-market acquisition of 40-46 Donegall Place for French investment firm Corum Asset Management in June, which is the largest retail investment transaction in Northern Ireland so far this year.

Lisney investment director, Nicky Finnieston believes the sale is a "glowing vote of confidence" in the Belfast office market.

"We always expected this instruction to be well received locally, but we were pleasantly surprised by the level of interest coming from London and internationally. We had interest from private investors, property companies, private equity and institutions which is a glowing vote of confidence for the Belfast office market," he said.

“The positive narrative around prime office space in Belfast continues to be buoyed by strong occupier demand and significant rental growth in recent years. Growing confidence in the office rental market over the past couple of years has resulted in a record first quarter take up in 2018 of 270,000 sq ft that provides a compelling backdrop for potential investors."

“We have seen investment volumes increase from £26m in the first half of 2017 to approximately £70m in the first half of this year andthe sale of Obel 68 and Metro will help make sure that those volumes will continue to rise throughout the remainder of the year, with the backdrop of increasing demand for quality investments from local and overseas investors, " Mr Finnieston added.

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