Business

Danesfort building back on market (this time for £5.25m)

The Danesfort building in south Belfast has gone up for sale

THE highly sought-after Danesfort Building in south Belfast has been put up for sale for more than £5 million.

The imposing four-storey 78,800 sq ft building with adjoining multi-storey car park will go on the market for "offers in excess of £5.25m" according to commercial selling advisers Avison Young.

Constructed in 1959 and sitting on a generous 2.8-acre site with 350 car parking spaces, Danesfort was originally NIE’s headquarters complex before then being sold to Ulster Bank in 2002.

In 2013, after the property crash, the bank revealed plans to dispose of Danesfort and have it leased back by its parent company RBS Group (it was struggling and had posted losses of more than £1 billion) as part of a move to free up cash.

At that stage owners Ulster Bank said the Danesfort building would be refurbished and sold off with an expectation of raising around £10 million.

The property comprises one of the largest predominantly vacant office buildings to come to the market in recent years and is one of the few large-scale office complexes outside of central Belfast with the benefit of an office planning consent.

Danesfort is currently part-occupied by NIE Networks (covering 15,300 sq ft of space on parts of the third and fourth floors along with a small ground floor store).

Avison Young says it expects Danesfort to have broad appeal across investors, developers, and owner occupiers, due to the unique opportunity it offers in the post-pandemic world.

Jago Bret, principal and managing director of Avison Young in Northern Ireland, said: “Danesfort is located in one of Belfast’s most prestigious suburbs and this provides access to a range of local services and amenities including schools and higher education establishments such as Queen’s University and Stranmillis College.

“Situated within excellent public transport links to Belfast city centre, its accessible location makes Danesfort a highly attractive refurbishment or redevelopment opportunity.

“There could be a range of uses including office, residential, the private rental sector, primary care, student accommodation and hotel, subject to planning and vacant possession.”

Mr Bret added: “Now more than ever, occupiers are likely to be seeking office space closer to their place of residence and to support services such as schools and childcare facilities.

“Danesfort’s highly attractive suburban location will also be particularly appealing from a health and wellbeing perspective and in supporting the new hybrid working model that many companies are expected to adopt post-pandemic.

“We expect demand will be strong for these reasons given Danesfort’s wide appeal and numerous asset management opportunities.”

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