Wirefox acquires prime Belfast city centre office building

Investment and development company Wirefox has acquired 35-47 Donegall Place in Belfast city centre
Investment and development company Wirefox has acquired 35-47 Donegall Place in Belfast city centre

INVESTMENT and development company Wirefox has acquired 35-47 Donegall Place in Belfast city centre - which includes the flagship Boots store - for an undisclosed sum.

The former bank building, known as 35DP, is a five-story retail and grade A office space, encompassing 80,000 sq ft, which fronts on to both Donegall Place and Fountain Street.

Consisting of three retail units on the ground floor and four upper floors of modern office accommodation, the property recently benefitted from an extensive repositioning and refurbishment by Graham ahead of its sale.

Main tenant Boots, which has occupied the building for 55 years, signed a new 10-year lease in 35DP in 2020.

Wirefox investment director Kathryn Robinson said: “This purchase represents a significant vote of confidence in Belfast’s growing office market and in the demand for high quality professional office space.

“It also aligns with our mission to acquire prime commercial property assets in a strategic location which have an enduring appeal and demonstrate strong growth potential.”

Wirefox was advised throughout the acquisition of 35DP by legal firm Davidson McDonnell and ASM Accountants.

Gareth Howell, who was appointed property director at Wirefox earlier this year, said: “The purchase of 35DP represents a superb opportunity to acquire a unique office proposition for Belfast which is underpinned by a long-standing and highly successful prime retail offering.

“It also demonstrates Wirefox’s confidence in Belfast’s enduring attraction for businesses and the level of occupier demand for ideally located, best-in-class office space which befits the needs of employers and employees alike.”

Wirefox said its ownership of 35DP will complement its new state-of-the-art Grade A professional office development known as The Paper Exchange on nearby Chichester Street.

Work started on the landmark 11-storey 200,000 sq ft building, which has been designed by Wirefox and Todd Architects, in February 2020 and is due to be completed early next year. Around 150,000 sq ft of the mixed-use scheme is office accommodation.

Mr Howell added: “The introduction of 35DP and the Paper Exchange for 2023 into Wirefox’s office portfolio provides us with a unique representation in all office grades and size offerings within the local marketplace.

“These outstanding spaces offer potential occupiers a truly interesting blank canvas on which to come and express their brand and culture as they position themselves within the most central addresses available in Belfast.”

The revised plans to dramatically transform the Oxford and Gloucester buildings on Chichester Street to grade A office accommodation were approved in November 2019.

Around 100 jobs were created during the construction phase which was undertaken by local contractor Heron Bros. The Paper Exchange can accommodate up to 2,000 people.

Both 35DP and The Paper Exchange are being marketed for lease by Savills and Colliers International in Belfast.