Thursday 22 March 2018

Nama to give €18million to finish two Belfast office blocks

Frank Daly, Chairman of NAMA
Frank Daly, Chairman of NAMA

Lesley-Anne McKeown

Nama is to provide €18million to finish two office blocks in Belfast, it was revealed today.

Ireland's asset management agency is financing completion of Lanyon Plaza and Soloist Building on the banks of the River Lagan.

Development on both sites, which are close to the Waterfront Hall complex, stalled over three years ago because of the property market crash and global recession.


Nama chairman Frank Daly said the agency was happy to fund projects that could deliver a commercial return.


"The Agency is committed to providing more funding to debtors based in Northern Ireland in addition to the £123 million (144 million euro) we have already approved," said Mr Daly.


"We would urge debtors to share their proposals with us, as we want to fund projects that can deliver a strong commercial return."


Mr Daly who is also chairman of Nama's Northern Ireland advisory committee was addressing a delegation from the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) in Dublin.


He claimed the project at Lanyon Place would generate substantial employment opportunities during the construction and fit-out phases.


The 90,000 sq ft Soloist Building was designed by world famous Norwegian architect Neils Torp. Construction work on phase one of the €20 million property finished in 2010.


Lanyon Plaza is a 100,000 sq ft, 15-story office block with a fully glazed facade which cost an estimated €53 million. It also includes apartments, retail space and basement parking. Construction, which started in 2007, ground to a halt three years ago.


It is hoped when fully occupied both buildings will accommodate about 1,750 people.


Meanwhile, elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Nama has approved €102 million  in asset sales since its inception to the end of March.


The agency recently announced plans to provide €10.5 million to fund a 95-unit housing development in Millmount, Dundonald, on the outskirts of east Belfast.


"Examples of our social housing initiatives include our work with Clanmill Housing Association, to whom we have provided an option on the purchase of the Hilden Mills site near Lisburn for affordable housing," added Mr Daly.


"We have also sold a site in Co Down for social housing and are working with the Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations and its members to assist with the social housing development programme in Northern Ireland."

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