Posted on Wednesday 23 April 2014 by Ulster Business

Obel Tower - Northern Ireland's tallest building has been sold

The Obel development in Belfast, which contains Ireland's tallest building, has been sold. The loan sale was handled by law firm Tughans and property consultants, Savills, on behalf of Bank of Scotland. Situated on Donegall Quay, the 85 metre tower and surrounding buildings comprise of 52,462 sq. ft of Grade A office accommodation and 282 luxury apartments – all within walking distance of Belfast City Centre.

Commenting on the deal David Jones, Property Partner with legal firm Tughans, said: "The completion of this loan sale represents significant inward investment in the property sector and a very encouraging sign for the local economy. Tughans has worked on behalf of funders Bank of Scotland from the development stage of the Obel building in 2008, through administration with KPMG in 2012, and more recently in the competitive tender process to identify potential buyers. Our team of specialist lawyers working across the banking, property and insolvency departments within Tughans brought the deal to completion in a month from launch with interest generated by 25 different parties as a result of a targeted marketing campaign. With majority occupancy across the commercial elements and the residential elements let on a mix of long and short term leases, including 35 apartments recently agreed with the Game of Thrones team, today's announcement is a firm mark of confidence in Obel's future."

According to Savills, the property offers an excellent asset management opportunity that, once fully let, will produce a gross income of over £2.2 million per annum.

Ben Turtle, Director of Investments at Savills Northern Ireland said: "We expected the Obel to generate significant interest when we brought it to the market and that is exactly what transpired. It has taken just over a month for the sale to complete, which highlights the growing popularity of Belfast and Northern Ireland as a location for property investment."

He continued, "Investment property transactions in Northern Ireland reached £175m last year – more than the combined total of transactions since the start of the downturn. However, with economic conditions improving, and investor confidence in Northern Ireland rising, we expect the figure to be much higher this year."

The Obel comprises three separate blocks; Obel 62 is a 28 storey residential tower comprising 233 apartments, Obel 64 is an 8 storey residential block comprising 49 apartments, and Obel 68 is a 7 storey commercial block comprising 52,462 sq ft primarily of grade A office accommodation.

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