5 October 2022 News
An iconic office building in the heart of Belfast has gone on sale with an asking price of £24.3m.
Bedford House, a unique commercial and retail hub located in the city’s central business district, should pique huge investor interest, with strong bidding expected.
The sale of this landmark asset – believed to be one of the most prestigious to come on the Northern Ireland market in a decade – is being handled by property agents CBRE NI and Lambert Smith Hampton.
It is currently owned, and part occupied by Ulster Estates and is being marketed with a guide price of £24.3m.
Tenants within Bedford House include business advisers EY, built environment consultancy firm Arup, investment bank Cowen and insurance broker & risk advisor Marsh.
CBRE NI’s managing director Brian Lavery said Bedford House is one of the most interesting and attractive office investment opportunities to become available in recent years.
“It is one of the most recognised office buildings in the city,” he said.
“This presents a superb investment and asset management opportunity for investors to capitalise on a buoyant local office sector, which continues to outperform its counterparts in the UK and Ireland in terms of investor return.
“Big players in the financial, insurance and consultancy sectors are increasingly seeking not only excellent prestigious locations and flexible space but also high-end facilities such as on-site gym and casual recreational spaces for their workforce and clients.”
With an address at 16-22 Bedford Street, the striking glass-fronted building sits on a site of 0.15 Ha (0.37 Ac) and is located adjacent to City Hall.
By foot, it’s also just eight minutes away from Weavers Cross, the city’s new transport hub, and close to the leading banks, a range of theatres and some of Belfast’s best hotels, restaurants and bars.
The property is a ten-storey mixed use structure comprising 90,334 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation set over the upper floors, with four retail units at ground level.
In addition to 38 car and 23 cycle spaces, tenants benefit from exclusive access to the on-site gym and meeting rooms on the ninth floor.
Bedford House is within walking distance to Belfast’s prime retail thoroughfare, including the Victoria Square and CastleCourt shopping complexes.
Douglas Wheeler of Lambert Smith Hampton said the level of interest in this investment was likely to reflect the city’s growing reputation as a place for big business to flourish.
“Belfast is widely recognised as a place where ambition, optimism and opportunity thrives,” he said.
“It’s a talented, competitive and connected city, with the second fastest growing knowledge economy in the UK thanks to its excellent digital infrastructure and thriving clusters of high growth companies – many of which are in and around the central business district.”
The landmark building has since undergone various refurbishments, most recently in 2007, which saw the construction of two additional lower sections at either side of the main tower and in 2015 the main entrance lobby was reconfigured to include a mezzanine coffee shop.
Its office accommodation is accessed from Bedford Street via a double storey glazed entrance reception, fitted with Carrara Marble and featuring a four metre high video wall.
The office accommodation benefits from an EPC rating of “B36” at a time when Wellness/EPC credentials are of ever-increasing importance.
The investment is multi-let to 14 tenants generating an annual net income of £1,569,832 with 85.10% of the rent secured against occupants boasting a “Very Low Risk” or “Low Risk” CreditSafe rating. The investment is highly reversionary with a potential rental income of £2,016,000 per annum once fully leased.