The tallest commercial building in Ireland has been sold for £6.5 million (€9 million) by a Nama-appointed receiver.
Hastings Hotels, which co-owns the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, has bought the landmark Windsor House office complex in Belfast in a deal overseen by Liam Dowdall and Greg Palfrey of Smith & Williamson.
“This is a key win for our client, Nama, and a testament to the investment potential and recovery of commercial properties in Belfast,” said Mr Dowdall.
Nama seized the building, which was developed by a consortium including Glenkerrin's Ray Grehan, in 2012 when it appointed receivers over the assets of a business called Lauderdale Properties.
The development had been funded through a loan from Bank of Ireland, which transferred the loan to Nama.
The building was for sale with an asking price of £5 million but competition among the bidders pushed the final consideration well beyond this figure.
Windsor House is 80m high, with 22 storeys, about a third higher than Liberty Hall in Dublin. Its tenants include the Parades Commission. The building has a two-storey car park and two retail units. When it was put on the market last year, agents CBRE said it had a rent roll of £205,000. A sale price of £6.5 million therefore represents a yield of about 3.1 per cent.
The building is thought to be ripe for a revamp, and prior to its purchase by Hastings it was tipped as suitable for conversion into a hotel.
Hastings operates a number of well-known hotels in the north, including the Europa in Belfast, and Slieve Donard in Down. It co-owns the Merrion with Lochlann Quinn and Martin Naughton.