Hi-Tech Tenant for Belfast Harbour
Boston-based Merchant Warehouse, an ICT firm specialising in payment technologies for retailers, has located its first permanent operation outside the US in Belfast Harbour’s 6,000 square feet ‘Clarendon Building @ City Quays’.
The two-storey building located behind the Belfast Harbour Office was originally built by the Harbour in the early 1800s as a pump house for two dry docks which became the focal point of the city’s first shipyard.
The refurbished Clarendon Building now accommodates 70 Merchant Warehouse employees involved in software development and customer support. The business, which provides a wide range of payment solutions as well as transaction technology and customer loyalty programmes, has now opened its first international office in Belfast.
Visiting the new office, Merchant Warehouse CEO, Henry Helgeson, said:
“Merchant Warehouse decided to locate its new international technology division in Belfast because of the availability of top grade software engineers who could help develop our new Genius™ Customer Engagement Platform. The Clarendon Building at City Quays was a good fit given the cluster of other technology firms nearby such as Intel, the quality of the office space and its great waterfront location. We were particularly impressed by its ‘industrial chic’ look and its association with the origins of Belfast’s shipbuilding industry which was such a global phenomenon.”
Roy Adair, Belfast Harbour’s CEO, said:
“The Clarendon Building is an integral part of the wider £250m City Quays development and will complement the nearby City Quays 1, an 83,000 square feet office which the Harbour will complete in January 2015. Merchant Warehouse is a perfect example of the type of firm which Northern Ireland can attract and which we believe will drive further occupiers to City Quays. It’s also very pleasing to witness the transformation of an area so closely associated with Belfast’s mercantile past into a focal point for the new knowledge-based economy.”
In the past 25 years Belfast Harbour has facilitated the creation of 10million square feet of built space with a value of £2billion. There are now 700 businesses based on the Harbour Estate employing over 21,000 people, with 5,000 of those located in the area around the Clarendon Building.