Planning approved for landmark Grade A office scheme in Belfast

Wirefox, the Holywood-based investment and property company, has received permission to proceed with major redevelopment plans to deliver 185,000 sq ft of new Grade A office space that will accommodate over 1,500 workers in Belfast city centre.

The Paper Exchange will also offer basement car parking and ground floor coffee/restaurant units.

It is expected over 100 jobs will be created during the construction phase, which covers the sites of both Oxford and Gloucester House on Chichester Street, with work set to begin on the 11-storey, mixed-use development in the coming weeks.

Approval for the project was granted at a meeting of Belfast City Council planners on Tuesday evening (13th February).

Savills and Colliers International have been appointed as joint letting agents for the scheme, which will help to significantly address the shortage of Grade A office space in Belfast city centre and help the Council meet the targets it has set in recent growth strategies for the city.

Steven Flannery, Director of Investments at Wirefox, said:

“The Paper Exchange is one of the most exciting office development initiatives in Northern Ireland in a decade. There has been significant market interest to date, and we look forward to work getting under way soon.

“The provision of planning approval for The Paper Exchange is fantastic news for the wider growth of Belfast as a dynamic, international city that can cater for the office requirements of the world’s leading businesses and brands.

“Increasing the provision of Grade A office space in Belfast has been identified by Belfast City Council as a key objective in recent growth strategies for the city, such as the Belfast Agenda. This project is part of Wirefox’s strategic office portfolio that is helping to strengthen the city’s high-spec offering.”

Wirefox’s Belfast city centre office portfolio also includes Longbridge House on Waring Street and the five-story building on Victoria Street which is home to Bittles Bar.

Simon McEvoy, Head of Office Agency at Savills, commented:

“The design, specification and location of The Paper Exchange make it one of the most exciting projects in the new wave of office developments to secure planning. We have been engaging with a number of potential tenants and, now that planning has been granted, we expect to move these discussions forward.”

Ian Duddy, Director of Business Space at Colliers International, said:

“This exciting development will enhance the Belfast city centre office market offer and enable indigenous and FDI occupiers alike to grow in a world-class environment in the heart of Belfast city centre.”