Belfast Harbour has confirmed that the world’s largest law firm, Baker & McKenzie, will be the first tenant for its flagship Grade ‘A’ office scheme, City Quays 1.
The global firm, which has 77 offices in 47 countries, announced plans to open a new Global Services centre in Belfast in August. The company has pre-let two floors in City Quays totalling 28,000 sq ft to accommodate the centre which will create 260 jobs.
Work on the five-floor City Quays 1 office is due to complete in early 2015 with occupation anticipated by mid-April. Belfast Harbour is also in discussion with a number of other parties regarding the remaining 41,000 sq ft at City Quays 1 and a further 124,000 sq ft at City Quays 2 which is due for completion in 2016.
Belfast Harbour’s Property Director, Graeme Johnston, said:
“Securing a tenant of the calibre of Baker & McKenzie is a major achievement for City Quays and confirms that the tide has turned in Belfast’s commercial property market.
“By investing £30m in almost 200,000 sq ft of Grade A office space, Belfast Harbour is helping address the current shortfall in high-end office space within the city centre. With demand for Grade A office space estimated at around 600,000 sq ft we’re confident that the wider £250m City Quays can quickly establish itself as one of Belfast’s core schemes.
“Belfast Harbour is working closely with Invest NI and we are actively pursuing a number of inward investors and indigenous firms which have expressed an interest in City Quays.”
Baker & McKenzie’s Belfast operation will be its second Global Services centre after the Philippine capital, Manila. The firm employs 11,000 people globally and is the world’s largest law firm. The Belfast office will focus on legal work for global clients and providing business services support for the firm's offices worldwide.
Jason Marty, Baker & McKenzie's Belfast-based Global Director of Operations, said:
“Baker & McKenzie is delighted to be the first tenant for this iconic development. We are rapidly hiring key personnel for Global Services Belfast thanks to the quality of local talent and look forward to moving into equally impressive premises."
Welcoming the news, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster, said:
“Securing this investment was a real coup for Belfast and a strong vote of confidence in what Northern Ireland can offer international professional services firms like Baker & McKenzie.
“The speed at which the City Quay’s scheme is being developed is extremely encouraging, particularly at a time when commercial development has been slow.
“The significant number of new investors and indigenous businesses announcing their job creation projects recently has created an appetite for such property, and I hope this scheme marks the beginning of an uplift in commercial development in the city.”
City Quays 1 is part of the wider City Quays scheme, a 20-acre office-led, city-centre development funded by Belfast Harbour. The scheme will provide 2m sq ft in total, including 820,000 sq ft of Grade A Office accommodation, plus residential and retail elements, and a hotel.
Ongoing and planned building work at City Quays will help secure 600 jobs in the Northern Ireland construction sector.
Baker & McKenzie set to be anchor tenant at Belfast Harbour City Quays 1
The world’s largest law firm, Baker & McKenzie, will be the first tenant for Belfast Harbour's flagship Grade ‘A’ office scheme, City Quays 1.
View Baker & McKenzie set to be anchor tenant at Belfast Harbour City Quays 1