Jul 19, 2018

A prominent Belfast city centre office building has been purchased by a UK property management company in a £2.4 million deal.

M7 Real Estate, the pan-European investor and asset manager, has acquired the seven-storey 20 Adelaide Street, in the firm's first foray into the Northern Ireland market. The 21,021 sq ft property has been acquired from receivers Ernst and Young following a two-stage bidding process.

M7 will carry out a full-scale refurbishment of the property, which currently has 86 per cent vacancy with only the ground floor occupied. The major works will modernise and improve the quality of the accommodation, as well as to create a new proposition for the Belfast office market and the plans includes a modern reception space, raised floors, cycle storage, shower facilities and a new air conditioning system.

Head of UK real estate at M7, John Murnaghan said Belfast is an attractive market for investment. “We have been tracking the Belfast office market for some time as we see areas of value both because of the supply/demand imbalance, but also the macro economic conditions. We have been waiting for a value add opportunity like Adelaide Street to come up for some time so we can apply our asset management expertise. We expect the office market in the north of Ireland, which saw take up of 22 per cent above the five-year average in 2017 to continue to perform strongly. This is a really exciting project in a new territory for us and we look forward to launching the refurbished space to the market at the end of this year.”

M7 acts as an investment and asset manager to a series of funds that it has established and in which it co-invests alongside a large number of family office, high net worth and institutional investors. The team consists of over 200 staff operating across a platform spanning 13 countries comprising the UK, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia. Established in 2009 and wholly owned by its senior managers, M7 manages a portfolio of around 1,200 assets worth an estimated £5.4 billion.