Great Potential Restrained by Uncertainty

Fri Feb 9 2018

McConnells Publish Spring 2018 Market Briefing

As 2018 dawned the market continued to suffer from a combination of restraining forces, in particular the political vacuum caused by a year-long suspension of the Stormont Executive, and the on-going anxiety over Brexit.

There is however still a great sense of optimism that we will overcome these problems, as borne out by the number of cranes which continue to multiply on the Belfast skyline - evidence of the amount of property development and refurbishment which is emerging to meet anticipated demand.

Click Here to Download Publication

The Wraps are Coming Off…!

Fri Dec 1 2017

River House redevelopment will deliver 80,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation in Cathedral Quarter

Construction work at River House in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter is coming on apace, with the new curtain walling system being installed from the top down, followed by Landlords Cat A fit-out of the office floors, including raised access floors, air-conditioning and continuous extruded LED profile lighting.

River House will provide a total of c. 80,000 sq ft of Grade A offices in floors of c. 6,000 sq ft and will be ready for occupation in Q2 2018.

The common areas have been reconfigured to provide an impressive fully glazed double height reception with feature glass lift and reconfigured cores. Typical floor plates are open plan with services configured to enable subdivision.

Our show floor on Level 13 is now available to view and we will be delighted to give prospective tenants a tour of the building – contact Rory McConnell at McConnells, or our joint agent David Wright at CBRE

New Grade A Offices Construction Underway

Thu Nov 30 2017

Artola House - New-Build Belfast City Centre Office Development Taking Shape

Construction work is well under way at Artola House on Belfast’s Victoria Street.

Steelwork is complete and all floor slabs are poured.

Artola is a complete new build Grade A Office development, constructed behind the retained red brick external walls of the original 1870s linen warehouse, which will provide some 19,000 sq ft of bright modern office accommodation over ground and four upper floors.

Available to lease as a single HQ building, or on a floor by floor basis to multiple tenants, the development will have typical net floorplates of around 3,900 sq ft, with raised access floors and full air-conditioning.

An impressive entrance foyer provides access from Victoria Street and the fit-out throughout will be to the very highest quality.

Artola will deliver an eclectic mix of old and new – incorporating many features of an original Victorian building into a state of the art modern new-build office development.

The ground floor has been designed to accommodate either office or restaurant uses.

Completion is on target for Q2 2018 and we will be delighted to show potential tenants round the building shortly.

We're Recruiting Again...!

Mon Nov 27 2017

We are currently looking for a Residential Administrator

McConnell Chartered Surveyors is recruiting for the following position in our busy Belfast city centre office:


  • Residential Property Management Department Administrator

To support our busy Residential Property Management Team


For full details and to apply on-line please visit:

Simply type McConnell in the Search Box


Oliver Bonas Opens in Belfast City Centre

Mon Nov 13 2017

McConnells Let Prime Arthur Street Retail Unit

Oliver Bonas have opened their new Belfast store on Arthur Street, the city’s hottest shopping street for aspirational retailers.

The new shop is in addition to the luxury fashion, jewellery and homeware retailer’s Lisburn Road store, which opened last year.

McConnells negotiated the letting on behalf of private client landlords. Colliers in London acted for Oliver Bonas.

SOLD 83-85 Great Victoria Street, Belfast

Tue Oct 31 2017

McConnells Sell Rankin Furniture Building

McConnell Chartered Surveyors has agreed the sale of 83-85 Great Victoria Street, Belfast, a well presented building constructed in the mid-1990s which extends to c. 11,000 sq ft over four floors. 

The building is home to Rankin’s Furniture, a business which has been open in Belfast since the 1850s, and was offered for sale due to the imminent retirement of the current owner Mr. Robert Rankin.

The property offered the opportunity for either a high profile owner occupier, or an investor, to acquire an excellent building with retail accommodation on both the ground and first, and office space on the second and third floors.

Adam Bolton of McConnells negotiated the sale of the property to local investor & developer Glenbank Holdings, for an undisclosed price.

Merville Is Best Kept Large Housing Area

Mon Oct 30 2017

Merville Garden Village Wins at the Best Kept City, Town, Village and Housing Area Awards

The outstanding work by the management team at McConnell Chartered Surveyors has helped Merville Garden Village clinch the Best Kept Large Housing Area award at the Northern Ireland Best Kept City, Town, Village and Housing Area Awards, sponsored by George Best Belfast City Airport.

This is the third consecutive year that Merville has received the award, as representatives from the Northern Ireland Council areas gathered at Belfast City Hall for the Northern Ireland Amenity Council’s final Best Kept City, Town, Village and Housing Area Awards ceremony.

The Awards were attended by Mr Clark Bailie, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, who assisted in the presentation of awards to all housing winners.

Speaking at the ceremony, McConnell’s Chairman Rory Clark said, “Winning this award for the third consecutive year is a remarkable achievement, and testament to the huge amount of hard work which our residential management team has put into Merville Garden Village. I am exceptionally proud of our team and delighted for the residents of Merville.”

McConnells manages Merville Garden Village on behalf of their client Ulster Garden Villages.

McConnell Teams Climb for Caudwell Children

Mon Sep 25 2017

Two McConnell Teams Complete River House Challenge

McConnell Chartered Surveyors were well represented at the River House Belfast charity event on Friday, with two teams completing the climb of the 15 storey building which is currently undergoing complete refurbishment to Grade A offices

Our clients, Castleforge Partners, teamed up with charity Caudwell Children to kick start Belfast's Culture Night with teams and individuals racing 235 steps to the top of River House

River House will be completed in Summer 2018 and will provide some 80,000 sq ft of much needed Grade A office accommodation on the edge of Cathedral Quarter in the heart of Belfast city centre

McConnells are managing and joint letting agents on the scheme

HMRC Signs Up For 104,000 sq ft Belfast Office Pre

Mon Jul 31 2017

McConnells and JLL Represent HMRC in one of Belfast's Largest Ever Pre-lets

HM Revenue and Customs has signed an Agreement for Lease with Orby Investment to take the whole of the upper floors, comprising 104,220 sq ft, at Erskine House, Chichester Street in the centre of Belfast.

McConnell Chartered Surveyors and their Alliance Partner JLL advised HMRC in the transaction, which is one of the largest ever office pre-lets in the local NI market.

The building, which will occupy a highly prominent location in the city centre, on the corner of Chichester Street and Arthur Street, a stone's throw from City Hall, will accommodate some 1,600 full time equivalent HMRC employees.

Site preparation and demolition work has already started and construction is due to commence in the autumn with completion and hand-over for tenant fit-out in 2019.

McConnells are JLL's formal Northern Ireland Alliance Partner, and the HMRC acquisition is just one of several high-profile exercises the two firms are working on together in the province.

Hotel Chocolat Opens New Belfast City Centre Store

Fri Jun 2 2017

McConnells Negotiates New Letting for Landlord, Linen Hall Library

Hotel Chocolat have opened their new state of the art chocolate shop with Cafe on Belfast's Donegall Square North

Located on one of Belfast's busiest thoroughfares, on the corner of Donegall Square and Fountain Street, the unit is just a stone's throw from City Hall

A complete re-fit of the unit has resulted in an ultra modern feel internally, complementing the listed building which is also home to Hotel Chocolat's Landlord, the Linen Hall Library, and Molton Brown.

McConnells acted for the landlords in the letting to Hotel Chocolat and are retained to manage the building

Bedford House Announces New Gym Facility

Fri May 26 2017

Pop Up Picnic Event Raises £500 for Chest Heart Stroke

Bedford House, one of Belfast's most successful office buildings, has revealed plans for a new state of the art in-house gym facility, together with meeting and conference rooms, which will be available exclusively for Bedford House tenants.

The initiative was announced at a pop-up picnic event at Bedford House which also raised over £500 for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke.

McConnell staff members, Rebecca Scott and Simon Hollywood did their bit by taking part in the Static Cycle Challenge watched by Leanne Armstrong, Front of House at Bedford House.

McConnells are managing agents and joint letting agents at Bedford House.

For information on office accommodation available at Bedford House please contact Caroline McKillen at McConnells - +44(0)2890205900.

To Let - Prime Belfast City Centre Retail

Thu May 18 2017

17-19 Arthur Street Occupies one of the Hottest Trading Locations in Belfast

McConnells are marketing this superb prime shop unit on Belfast’s Arthur Street, which extends to some 2,354 sq ft.

Formerly occupied by Jaeger and in an excellent position with a frontage of 31 feet to Arthur Street, one of Belfast’s hottest pedestrianised retail locations, the unit is exceptionally well fitted out with air-conditioning, recessed display lighting, internal roller shutters, stock room and good ancillary accommodation.

The unit is key-ready and available for immediate occupation, and presents the perfect opportunity for a retailer to get into one of Belfast’s best retail streets.

For full details, go to:



Artola House Office Redevelopment Well Underway

Wed May 17 2017

20,000 sq ft of Grade A Offices will Complete in Quarter 1 2018

Construction work is well underway at Artola House on Victoria Street and Upper Church Lane in Belfast city centre.

The office scheme involves a complete redevelopment behind the retained existing red brick frontages, and will deliver some 20,000 sq ft of Grade A offices when complete in Quarter 1 2018.

With typical floorplates of 3,900 sq ft the building will suit either a single let HQ or it could be let floor by floor.

Internally, the landlord fit-out will be first rate - totally modern but incorporating features of the original 1870s linen warehouse, and including full air-conditioning, raised access floors, floor to ceiling heights ranging from 2.7m – 3.2m, 10 person passenger lift and high quality WCs.

The prime city centre location, right beside Victoria Square Shopping Centre and a stone’s throw from the Courts complex, could not be better.

McConnells are sole letting agents – contact Rory McConnell on 028 92 205 900

McConnells Acquires Belfast Iceland Investment

Thu May 11 2017

Antrim Road Iceland Investment Acquired for Local Charitable Trust

Acting on behalf of a locally based Charitable Trust, McConnells has acquired the Iceland investment at 475-477 Antrim Road, Belfast.

At a purchase price of £1.3m the net initial yield equates to 7% after allowing for purchaser’s costs.

Commenting on the investment market, McConnells director Rory Clark says:

“Competitive bidding has returned to the market, reflecting the lack of good investment stock, and a strong appetite for small to medium sized lots, particularly from high net worth individuals.

We anticipate that yields will continue to hold up in 2017 for property assets, particularly with comparatively low returns from alternative forms of investment.

More enthusiasm from the lending institutions will also help to bolster demand.

All of this despite a level of uncertainty as a result of Brexit and the forthcoming General Election.”

Karolina Open New Supermarket on Newtownards Road

Mon May 8 2017

McConnells Negotiates New Lease on behalf of Landlord, Iceland, to Leading Polish Foodstore Group

Karolina Shops, Northern Ireland's leading Polish Foodstore Group, has taken a new unit on the Newtownards Road in East Belfast.

Karolina International Foods Ltd has the largest network of Polish stores throughout Northern Ireland, with some 17 outlets called "Karolina Shop". These are multifunctional food stores with a wide assortment of over 3500 to 4000 Polish products.

At over 3,700 sq ft on the ground floor, plus first floor storage, the new unit will be one of the largest in the Karolina network.

McConnells were appointed by Iceland Frozen Foods in November last year to market the unit which had lain vacant for a long period of time.

Adam Bolton at McConnells negotiated the deal on behalf of the Landlord, Iceland.

Work Underway at River House Belfast

Fri May 5 2017

Construction Work has Started on 90,000 sq ft Grade A Office Refurbishment

The rear elevation of River House is now shrouded in scaffolding as work gets underway to transform this major Belfast landmark building into some 90,000 sq ft of Grade A offices.

London developer Castleforge Partners acquired River House last year, and is undertaking a full refurb to include a new glazed curtain wall system; double height foyer; raised access floors and floorplates of around 6,000 sq ft.

McConnells are managing agents and joint letting agents with CBRE on the scheme.

Commenting on the project Rory McConnell, director at McConnells, says "River House is ideally placed on the edge of Cathedral Quarter in the heart of Belfast City Centre, and we expect to see strong demand from office occupiers. The redevelopment is due to complete in Q2 2018 and will deliver much needed space in a market where demand for Grade A offices far outstrips supply".

Double Letting Success in Newry

Wed Mar 1 2017

Grafton and Collins & Collins Sign in City Centre

In a double success for Adam Bolton at McConnells, he has signed up two new tenants for our client Nationwide Building Society at Marcus Square and Marcus Street, in Newry city centre.

Grafton has opened in a 460 sq ft ground floor unit with additional 1st floor accommodation on Marcus Square.

Collins & Collins, Estate Agents, has taken a unit round the corner on Marcus Street, with 830 sq ft over ground and 1st floors.

Adam was also successful last year in letting the former Santander building on Margaret Square Newry to Shelbourne Financial Solutions.

Light at the end of the Tunnel...?

Tue Feb 28 2017

McConnells Publish March 2017 Market Briefing

Markets hate uncertainty, and the property market is no exception - and Northern Ireland seems to have uncertainties by the spadeful

But it's not all doom and gloom...

Click this link to read our latest Northern Ireland Market Briefing

Now... Thats What We Call A Crane...!

Mon Dec 5 2016

26 Storey Tower Crane Goes Up Over Grand Central Belfast

The tower crane is up over Grand Central, Belfast, the new Hastings Group Hotel under construction on Bedford Street in the heart of the City Centre

This is possibly the tallest crane ever seen on the Belfast skyline - the former Windsor House office building is 24 stories high and the crane tower had to extend a further 2 stories above the rooftop telecommunications equipment

The outer skin is now coming off the entire building, to be replaced with a complete new cladding system, and the new 300+ bed Grand Central Hotel is expected to open during 2018

McConnells acquired the property for the Hastings Group in 2015

Major Refurbishment Planned for River House

Mon Nov 21 2016

Refurbishment will deliver 90,000 sq ft Grade A Offices

A landmark building in Belfast City Centre has been granted planning permission to undergo a major refurbishment.

River House, located on High Street in Belfast, has five ground floor commercial units and a 66 space car park to the rear accessed via Waring Street. Planning Permission has been granted for 90,000 of retail and Grade A office accommodation.

Castleforge Partners purchased the property earlier in 2016 with the intention of refurbishing the space to meet the increasing demand for quality Grade A office space.

The approved application shows plans to enlarge and convert the ground floor retail units to restaurant use and to enlarge the entrance lobby to the offices. Further improvements include a dramatic new glazed front facade, replacement windows and the installation of full air-conditioning to the office floors.

McConnell Chartered Surveyors manage River House for Castleforge Partners.

McConnells and CBRE have been appointed as joint letting agents on the refurbished building.

Trespass Opens in Omagh

Mon Nov 21 2016

McConnells Acquires Prime Retail Unit for Trespass Outdoor

Outdoor Clothing Retailer, Trespass, has just opened a new store on Market Street in the heart of Omagh town centre. The lease on the property was negotiated by McConnell Chartered Surveyors. The Landlord was represented by local agent, Geoffrey Fleming of JG Flemings.

The Omagh store is the latest in a long list of outlets acquired by McConnells on behalf of their retained client, Trespass.

Commenting on the deal Rory McConnell, director at McConnells, said Trespass has been eyeing Omagh for some time, but it has proved difficult to find a suitable shop unit on the main retail pitch. When the former Xtravision unit came up we quickly started negotiations with the landlord's agent, and Trespass are delighted to have opened the new shop in time for the Christmas rush.

Whilst Trespass now has good coverage across the Province, they are still in expansion mode and we will still look at further opportunities throughout Northern Ireland"

McConnells are retained by Trespass on all property acquisitions in Northern Ireland