16 May 2022

Draperstown construction company land multi-million office build contract

Heron Bros will create 100 jobs as it undertakes construction of Belfast's 11 storey office block 'The Paper Exchange'.

Draperstown construction company land multi-million office build contract

Wirefox Development Director, Joanne McBurney (far left), with Gareth Howell, Director, Savills, Ian Duddy, Director of Business Space at Colliers International, Heron Bros Construction Director Karl

A Draperstown construction company is to create 100 jobs after landing a multi-million pound contract to build state-of-the-art office complex.

Heron Bros won the major contract to create Belfast’s newest and one of its largest ever speculative 'Grade A' office developments.

Building work on the landmark 200,000 sq ft city centre project, The Paper Exchange, got under way last week with confirmation the contract will create more than 100 jobs.

The contract was awarded to the Ballinascreen family firm by Wirefox, the Holywood-based investment and development company behind the mixed-use scheme.

Located in the heart of Belfast city centre at 43-63 Chichester Street, the world class office scheme will accommodate up to 2,000 people once complete and represents a major boost in confidence for the city.

The construction contract for the 11-storey building was awarded following a competitive tender process and is due for completion by December 2021.

Speaking about the exciting news Martin O’Kane, Group Deputy Managing Director at Heron Bros, said: “Few commercial developments can truly earn the title of ‘landmark building’ but The Paper Exchange is an exciting exception and we’re proud to have been chosen to oversee its construction and to deliver on the exacting design requirements of this iconic, transformative project for Belfast and Northern Ireland.”

The project, designed by Belfast-based architects TODD, will be built to the BREEAM Excellent sustainability standard, placing it in the top 10 per cent of sustainable new buildings in the UK.

A recognised, leading construction company with an annual turnover of around £100 million and almost 250 employees, its headquarters are in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland. It also has offices in London and Glasgow.

Heron Bros recently delivered Belfast City Council’s £105 million Belfast Leisure Transformation Programme which included the creation of three new leisure facilities across the city valued at £60 million, in addition to a new £30 million leisure facility in nearby Newtownards.

The award-winning contractor was also responsible for developing the stunning, state-of-the-art £6 million Porsche dealership at the Titanic Quarter.

Wirefox Development Director, Joanne McBurney, said the mixed-use scheme represented the first significant, privately funded, speculative office development in Belfast for a generation and a major boost in business confidence for the city and Northern Ireland.

“Wirefox has been investing across asset classes in Belfast since 2015 as we strongly believe it has global potential," she said.
"Development of The Paper Exchange was initiated in order to address the lack of grade A office space available in Belfast, at a time when demand far outweighs supply.

"The Paper Exchange will represent the best office accommodation in Belfast and will attract both local and international interest, providing significant benefit to the local council and economy.

We’re delighted that this project is now under way.”

Designed by Wirefox and TODD Architects, the state-of-the-art office development will feature an eye-catching double height entrance lobby, floor to ceiling glazing, seven high-speed lifts, a 4,000 sq. ft. private outdoor terrace, space for 85 bicycle racks and dedicated showering and changing facilities. Two ground floor units have also been earmarked for retail and restaurant use.

A total of 155,000 sq ft of office accommodation will be available once complete.

Savills and Colliers International have been appointed as joint letting agents to market the scheme which was first awarded planning approval in 2018.

The scheme will be ready for occupation in 2022.

Wirefox is a Holywood-based investment and development company.

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