Merchant Square in Belfast sold for £87m
Middle Eastern investor acquires prime regional office
JLL has advised Oakland Holdings on the freehold sale of Merchant Square in Belfast to a Middle Eastern investor for £87m reflecting a yield of 5.23%.
Merchant Square reached practical completion in June 2020 and provides 240,000 sq ft of mixed-use accommodation comprising 225,000 sq ft of Grade A offices and six retail units. The office space is let in its entirety to PwC until 2040 with tenant only break options in 2030 and 2035 and produces a total income of £4.86m per annum.
Merchant Square represents one of the most successful speculative office developments in the UK regions and the largest ever private sector office letting in Northern Ireland. Once occupied, Merchant Square will be PwC’s largest office outside London with 3,000 employees.
PwC in Northern Ireland is PwC’s fastest-growing UK region and Belfast is PwC’s recognised global centre for technology, digital advisory services and research.
The sale is one of the largest regional office transactions to close in the UK since the start of the pandemic and the highest value office transaction ever recorded in Northern Ireland.
Guy Hollis of Oakland Holdings, commented: “We are proud to have created one of the biggest commercial property schemes in Northern Ireland. Five years ago, Merchant Square was a concept for a quality speculative building which reflected the demand for office space in Belfast. Now built and fully let, it has attracted interest from global investors. Merchant Square is an indication of what Belfast can achieve.”
Noel Lander, Director in National Investment at JLL, added: “The landmark sale of Merchant Square demonstrates the investor appetite for best in class regional offices with secure income streams and strong ESG credentials.”
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. JLL shapes the future of real estate for a better world by using the most advanced technology to create rewarding opportunities, amazing spaces and sustainable real estate solutions for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.6 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 91,000 as of December 31, 2020. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com.