Belfast Harbour buys Obel 68 office block for £15m

Sale of seven-storey development comes amid huge growth in city’s office rental market

The Obel office complex in Belfast, with the Obel Tower, Ireland’s tallest building

The Obel office complex in Belfast, with the Obel Tower, Ireland’s tallest building

 

Belfast Harbour has completed a property deal, estimated to be worth more than £15 million, to expand its real estate portfolio closer to the city centre with the acquisition of Obel 68. It was acquired from US fund Marathon Asset Management.

The seven-floor office development is a major city landmark and is part of a complex that includes Ireland’s tallest building, the Obel Tower.

The 52,000sq ft Obel 68 is currently let to international law firm Allen & Overy, which employs more than 500 people in Belfast.

Joe O’Neill, Belfast Harbour’s chief executive, said: “The Obel office building is contiguous with our City Quays regeneration development, and its purchase aligns with our long-term strategic business plan for property development and investment.”

Nicky Finnieston, investment director with Belfast-based Lisney, who handled the sale, said there has been a growing interest in the office rental market in the city, with the total rental take-up in the first quarter of this year increasing to 270,000sq ft.

“We’ve also seen prime office rents move from £12.50 per sq ft to over £21.50 over recent years and there are a number of office schemes planned where quoting rents will be upwards of £23 per sq ft.

“We have seen investment volumes increase from £26 million in the first half of 2017 to approximately £70 million in the first half of this year,” he added.