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Business

First phase of £500m Belfast regeneration project to be delivered by 2021

A computer generated image of the first phase of the £500m Tribeca Belfast development
Gareth McKeown

THE first phase of a £500 million regeneration project in the heart of Belfast could be delivered by 2021, it has been revealed.

Developer Castlebrooke Investments has said work is due to begin on site next year for the largest ever single redevelopment of Belfast city centre, with the first portion open for business within 24 months thereafter.

The project, now rebranded as Tribeca Belfast, will deliver 1,500,000 sq ft of residential, Grade A office, retail, food and beverage space on a 12 acre site in the north east of the city centre.

The site is located beside St Anne's Cathedral bounded by Royal Avenue, Donegall Street, Lower Garfield Street and Rosemary Street.

The first phase, which received planning approval earlier this year, includes two Grade A office buildings comprising in excess of 180,000 sq ft, one of which has been designed to international headquarter office standards, as well as a separate mixed development comprising 24 luxury apartments and ground floor retail/ food and beverage units.

Neil Young, chief executive of Castlebrooke Investments said the nature of the scheme has changed over time from being retail led to a more sustainable model, with a focus on residential and office accommodation.

"I think the dream was to put John Lewis into Belfast city centre, but over the last three years the retailing world has changed quite dramatically and will continue to change," he said.

"We're in unchartered territory. but there is no prospect whatsoever in us delivering a 240,000 sq ft John Lewis department store in Belfast, it's just not going to happen. So our job is to design a scheme that is going to re-invigorate the centre of Belfast."

Looking beyond phase one, Castlebrooke hopes to submit plans for the remainder of the 12-acre development early in the new year and once complete believe the scheme will be a "benchmark" for UK regional cities.

"We want people to know that the development is moving forward. We have already invested £50m of cash in site assembly, planning and professional fees and we plan further major investment," Mr Young said.

Estelle Hunt, director of Castlebrooke Investments added:

“Tribeca Belfast will be an iconic development in the heart of the city which will encourage people to enjoy it as an outstanding place to live and work. Belfast is a city in transformation. It has a burgeoning population of educated, ambitious and young adults with a desire to live in the city centre, close to gyms, restaurants and their work places. To meet this increasing expectation, Belfast is in need of a changed urban landscape and the regeneration of Tribeca Belfast caters for this requirement.”

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