Plans for Ireland's tallest office building shelved as part of £500m Belfast redevelopment

North Street Arcade is to be brought back into use as part of the £500m Tribeca scheme
Gareth McKeown

PLANS for Ireland's tallest office building have been shelved as part of amendments to a £500 million Belfast regeneration scheme.

Castlebrooke Investments, behind the proposed Tribeca development, has unveiled a number of changes to its 12-acre development on land beside St Anne's Cathedral.

This includes a significant reduction in height of one of the two Grade A office blocks proposed from 27 storeys to 10. The changes to the office block, located on the corner of Rosemary Street and North Street, are a result of concerns raised during the pre-application consultation process.

The developer has also committed to bringing North Street Arcade back into use in a new format, with space designed for independent retailers. The Art Deco shopping arcade, which dates back to the 1930s, has been derelict since a 2004 fire at the site.

Other amendments to the original plans include an increased allowance for green spaces, as well as the retention of a greater number of historic streetscape on original buildings in the area.

Castlebrooke Investments has further confirmed that internationally-recognised architects Squire & Partners will take the lead on the revised scheme. The London firm, whose previous projects include; Chelsea Barracks, The Broadway and the Warwick Road masterplan, will work alongside Belfast-based Consarc Design Group.

A public consultation into the revised plans has now been launched ahead of the submission of a planning application.

Neil Young, chief executive of Castlebrooke Investments, which has already invested £50m in the development, said the alterations are a direct response to feedback from those within the city.

“We believe that the plans revealed today address many of the areas of concern which have been raised to date, including the revision of the height of the Grade A office block on the corner of Rosemary Street and North Street, more green spaces and further retention of the historic streetscape of North Street and Donegall Street," he said.

"Most importantly we have committed to returning North Street Arcade to use in a new format which will encourage a vibrant population of independent retailers.”

"Our aim is still to put Belfast at the forefront of British and European cities with a new urban realm which blends the area’s history with state-of-the-art design," Mr Young continued.

Murray Levinson, partner at Squire & Partners believes the plans can regenerate an historical portion of Belfast:

“We’re excited to be working towards the regeneration of Tribeca Belfast, creating a new piece of the city informed by the heritage of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. The designs represent an opportunity to retain and repair significant historical buildings across the site, and interweave these with contemporary destinations to reactivate this part of the city," he said.

Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI added:


“By committing to bring back North Street Arcade in a new format, with space designed for independent retailers, the plans for Tribeca Belfast will create space for the next generation of retail entrepreneurs. North Street Arcade was such a popular shopping landmark and it is great to see plans to bring it back into use in the city centre.”


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