NAMA providing funding to complete a landmark office development in Belfast

The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) is providing stg£15 million (€18 million) in funding to complete a landmark office development in Belfast.

This is part of its ongoing investment programme to enhance the value of its assets in Northern Ireland, the Agency’s Chairman said today.

Addressing a visiting delegation from the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) in Dublin, NAMA Chairman Frank Daly said the Agency is financing the completion of two buildings at Lanyon Place, a high-profile office and leisure complex whose existing buildings include the Waterfront Hall conference and entertainment venue.

Lanyon Plaza is a 100,000 sq ft office building with a fully glazed facade and large floor plates to suit the accommodation needs of large occupiers; and The Soloist Building is a 90,000 sq ft office building designed by renowned Norwegian architect Neils Torp.

Work on these buildings had been on hold in recent years as a result of market conditions.

Mr Daly said the project will generate substantial employment in local companies during the construction and fit-out phase and that the two buildings, when fully occupied, will accommodate approximately 1,750 people.

“The Agency is committed to providing more funding to debtors based in Northern Ireland in addition to the stg£123 million (E144 million) 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”.

In addition to his role as NAMA Chairman, Mr Daly is also Chairman of NAMA’s Northern Ireland Advisory Committee, a dedicated committee set up to advise the Agency on matters specifically relating to Northern Ireland. This committee includes senior NAMA directors and executives, as well as external members drawn from the Northern Ireland business community.

Mr Daly said the Agency appreciates the opportunity to update the NIABT on its progress. The relationship with the NIABT provides a valuable forum for the business community and elected representatives from the NI Assembly to interact and build clarity and understanding regarding the Agency’s role in Northern Ireland, he said.

NAMA, he said, has engaged with agencies such as Invest NI and professional and representative bodies, with a view to making NAMA vendor finance available for commercial property transactions in the North.

It is also engaging with Invest NI in relation to assets that may be suitable for industrial parks for indigenous and FDI clients in Northern Ireland and has approved stg£87 million in asset sales in Northern Ireland from inception to end March 2013.

It recently announced plans to provide stg£9 million to fund a 95-unit housing development in Millmount, Dundonald, close to Belfast and is reviewing other opportunities.