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Obel 68, 68 Donegall Quay, Belfast, BT1 3NL

Investment Property (52,169.00 sqft) For Sale by Private Treaty
of

Price Offers in Excess of £15,000,000

Features

  • Landmark Grade A City Centre Office Building.
  • Entirety of the office space let to Allen and Overy (SSF) Ltd guaranteed by Allen and Overy LLP until September 2031 with tenant only break option in September 2026.
  • Excellent city centre riverfront location between City Quays and Lanyon Plaza.
  • Area of 4,846 sq m (52,169 sq ft) arranged over basement, ground and six upper floors.
  • Developed to an exacting specification in 2011.
  • Low passing rent of £1,077,790 which equates to only £19.50 psf on the offices fixed until break.
  • WAULT of 8.2 to break and 12.8 to expiry.
  • 42 dedicated underground car parking spaces plus 2 underground storage units
  • Offers invited in excess of £15,000,000 which reflects a net initial yield of 6.73% and a capital value of £288 per sq ft.

Location

The Obel is located in Belfast City Centre, the capital of Northern Ireland. Belfast is the 15th largest city in the UK and second largest on the Island of Ireland and lies approximately 100 miles (161 Km) to the north of Dublin.

 

Belfast has an excellent infrastructure network and is well connected to the rest of Ireland and to mainland UK. George Best City Airport is located approximately 4 miles (6 Km) from the city centre with Belfast international Airport approximately 23 miles (37 Km) north-west.

 

In addition Belfast has a large commercial port that is also used for passenger ferry services with regular sailings to Scotland, England and Wales. Belfast has good road communications being positioned within close proximity to the M2 linking the North and West of the Province and the M1 which links with Dublin in the South.

 

The two principal railway services in the city centre include Great Victoria Street and Belfast Central, the latter of which provides a direct link with Dublin. In recent years Belfast has seen a high level of private and public sector investment, with a number of key urban regeneration and transport projects ongoing and planned improving the overall area.

 

One key project being the redevelopment of the Northside area of the city centre to accommodate the relocation of the University of Ulster Jordanstown Campus into the city centre providing an injection of more that £250m in the city centre and bringing an estimated 15,000 additional students and staff into the city centre.

Situation

The opportunity comprises 49,860 sq ft of office accommodation and 2,309 sq ft of retail space, with dedicated basement car parking. Obel 68 was developed as part of the overall Obel development which sits along side a 27 storey, 282 unit apartment block.

 

Obel is located in a very prominent location on the side of the River Lagan between the popular City Quays and Lanyon Plaza office developments opposite Custom House Square in the city centre of Belfast. It is within easy walking distance of the prime city centre retail core and close to Central Train station.

 

The adjacent office developments at City Quays and Soloist at Lanyon Plaza have proven popular with recent lettings to KPMG, Pinsent Masons, Baker McKenzie, Macon and UTV. Also with the new City Quays development comes a new Mariott 188 bed hotel that has just opened. Other major occupiers in the immediate area include Citi, Allstate, PWC, Tullet Prebon, NYSE, Concentrix and Cayan. 

Belfast's Economy

Financial services companies are attracted to Belfast by the competitive cost base as well as access to talent with a pipeline of over 5,000 graduates each year across a range of relevant disciplines including finance, accounting, economics, law and computing.

Belfast’s economy has seen a revival in recent years with significant growth in the Fintech and tourist industries. The city has a number of specialisms including asset management, financial services technologies, fund administration operations and risk, regulation and compliance.

 

 

The Fintech industry employs in excess of 36,000 people with major financial institutions such as Citigroup, PWC, Santander and Barclays having headquarters in the city.

 

Tourism is also a main driver of the local economy with in excess of 1.5m tourists visiting the city in 2016 spending over £334m. Hotel occupancy in 2016 was c80% driving investment in the sector with over 1/3 more hotel capacity being added throughout 2017/2018 in 7 new hotels adding around 1,200 more rooms. A talented and strong labour market, low cost base and good quality of life are driving global companies to consider Belfast as a base.

Full Description

The property was originally constructed in 2011 and comprises a 52,169 sq ft building over basement, ground and six upper floors, with typical floorplates of 7,000 sq ft.

The building is of steel portal frame construction with feature full height glazing to front and side. Internally the units were let with concrete floors and block walls and been fitted out to a high standard by the tenants.

There are 2 additional retail units on ground floor and 42 dedicated secure car parking spaces within the basement car park for the obel development.

Tenancy Schedule
Unit Tenant Name End Next Review Next Break
Date
Total Area (Sq ft) Rate Per Sq Ft

Passing Rent
Per Annum

Grd Floor, Unit 1 & 2 Allen and Overy (SSF) Ltd guaranteed by A&O LLP 29/09/2031 29/09/2021 29/09/2026 6,770 £19.50 £132,015
Grd Floor, Part Unit 3 Allen and Overy (SSF) Ltd guaranteed by A&O LLP 29/09/2031 29/09/2021 29/09/2026 1,991 £19.50 £38,825
Grd Floor, Unit 4 Mount Charles (NI) Limited  30/09/2021 01/10/2021 N/A 1,834 £16.63 £30,500
Grd Floor, Unit 5 Lagan Boat Company 13/10/2021 14/10/2021 N/A 474 £20.04 £9,500
1st Floor, Block 3 Allen and Overy (SSF) Ltd guaranteed by A&O LLP 29/09/2031 29/09/2021 29/09/2026 7,146 £19.50 £139,347
(Grd, 2nd - 6th Floors) Block 3 Allen and Overy (SSF) Ltd guaranteed by A&O LLP 29/09/2031 29/09/2021 29/09/2026 33,954 £19.50 £662,103
Basement Store Allen and Overy (SSF) Ltd guaranteed by A&O LLP 29/09/2031 29/09/2021 29/09/2026 1 space   £1,500
Basement Store Mount Charles (NI) Limited  30/09/2021 01/10/2021 N/A 1 space   £1,000
42 Car Park Spaces Allen and Overy (SSF) Ltd guaranteed by A&O LLP 29/09/2031 29/09/2021 29/09/2026 42 spaces   £63,000
          52,169   £1,077,790

 

*The next Allen and Overy rent review had been fixed at £19.50 per sq.ft. and £1,500 per parking space, which equates to an annual rental income of £1,036,790 plus Mount Charles at £30,500 per annum and Lagan Boat at £9.500 per annum totalling £1,077,790.

The vendor will top up the difference between Allen and Overy passing rent of £790,141 and the reversionary rent of £1,036,790 between now and the review date.
 

Service Charge
£153,735 
Insurance
£14,607
Rates Payable
£287,254 
Office Occupational Market

Q1 2018 has seen record breaking volumes of office take up with c. 270,310 sq. ft. of transacting across 23 deals, the largest of which was Allstate at East Bridge Street. The Belfast Office Market remained robust throughout 2017 with c. 326,000 sq ft tracking in line with our 5 year average. Up to this point, with a lack of new build development options available the majority of take up has been in refurbished properties such as First Derivatives letting of Weaving Works and Instil at Linen Lofts.

 

The Belfast Harbour’s City Quays development is well advanced with CQ1 fully let and CQ2 now complete with UTV recently taking 11,000 sq ft at a rent of £20psf. The Soloist building at Lanyon Plaza is now fully let with KPMG having taken 40,000sq ft in 2016 at a rent of £21.50psf and have recently upsized into the remainder of the building.

 

Belfast’s reputation as a hotbed of activity in the tech and digital sectors continues to gain momentum and is further evidenced by last year’s office take up which showed c. 56% of letting activity attributable to occupiers operating in these sectors, to include software design, cyber security, fintech and digital services. 

Office Investment Market

The Investment market in Northern enjoyed a resurgence in H2 2017 following the pausing elate 2016/early 2017. Investment Volumes for 2017 were up 40% year on year with the majority of that activity in the latter half of the year. This trend was mirrored across the UK with Investment in commercial property up 27% year on year.

 

Office deals rose 25% year on year to £26.5bn fuelled by strong demand for regional locations which were up 17% on 2016, indeed regional office investment enjoyed its strongest Q4 in a decade both in terms of deal volume, frequency and overall proportion of capital deployed. *Source Co-Star Investment Review and Lisney Research

Tenure

The Property is held on a lease from Obel Offices Limited for 998 years from 23rd June 2010 at an annual rent of £10.

Covenant

Allen and Overy (SSF) Ltd guaranteed by A&O LLP

 

Allen and Overy are a global legal practice employing 5,400 people in 44 international locations. They set up operations in Belfast in 2011 and currently employ over 500 people based in Obel 68 providing legal services to its network of international offices and clients. Allen and Overy (SSF) Limited has a Creditsafe rating of 96 out of 100 – very low risk.

At year end 2017 Allen and Overy LLP had turnover of £1.5bn with a pre-tax profit of £716m.

 

The Mount Charles Group Limited

 

Mount Charles are a major contract catering and foodservice provider based in Belfast and employing 1,600 people across the UK and Ireland. The Mount Charles Group Limited has a Creditsafe rating of 79 out of 100 – very low risk

 

Lagan Boat Company (NI) Limited

 

Lagan Boat Company have been providing tours of the River Lagan and Titanic Harbour for over 20 years. Lagan Boat Company (NI) Limited has a Creditsafe rating of 67 out of 100 – Low Risk

Proposal

We are instructed to seek offers in excess of £15,000,000 (Fifteen Million Pounds) subject to contract and exclusive of VAT.

A purchase at this level reflects a net initial yield of 6.73% (after vendor top ups allowing) allowing for purchasers costs of 6.73% and a capital value of £288 psf.

VAT

The property has been elected for VAT and it is intended that the transaction will be treated as a Transfer of a Going Concern (TOGC)

EPC
The building has a rating of D88. A full report is available on request.
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Viewing Details

By special appointment with the sole selling agent, Lisney.

Contact Details

Address: Montgomery House, 29-33 Montgomery Street, Belfast BT1 4NX
Telephone: +44-2890-501501 or you can also email us at property@lisney-belfast.com

Lisney for themselves and the Vendor/Lessor whose Agents they are give notice that:

1. These particulars do not constitute any part of an offer or contract.

2. All statements contained in these particulars as to this property are made without responsibility on the part of the Agents or the Vendor/Lessor and none of the statements contained in these particulars as to this property are to be relied on as statements or representations of fact.

3. The particulars, various plans, photographs, dimensions, references to condition and permissions for use and occupation  are given in good faith and are believed to be correct but their accuracy is not guaranteed and any intending Purchasers or Tenants shall satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise as to correctness of each of them. No omission, accidental error or misdescription shall be ground for a claim for compensation or for the rescission of the contract by either the Vendor/Lessor or the Purchaser/Tenant.

  4. Neither the Vendor/Lessor nor Lisney nor any person in their employment has any authority to make or give any representation or warranty whatever in relation to the property. 5. Prices are quoted exclusive of VAT (unless otherwise stated) and all negotiations are conducted on the basis that the Purchaser/Tenant shall be liable for any VAT arising on the transaction. PSRA No. 001848.

Please note we have not tested any apparatus, fixtures, fittings, or services. Interested parties must undertake their own investigation into the working order of these items. All measurements are approximate and photographs provided for guidance only.

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