PwC will occupy all of Merchant Square development in Belfast’s biggest ever office deal

Pictured above is the Merchant Square development in Belfast city centre

In an historic deal, Oakland Holdings have announced the signing of Northern Ireland’s largest ever private sector office letting.

Business advisors PwC, had originally signalled its intention to become the anchor tenant of the prestigious Merchant Square development in the centre of Belfast. However, the firm has now opted to take the entire building and has signed a 20 year lease for the 201,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation.

Merchant Square is being developed by Oakland Holdings at Wellington Place in the heart of Belfast city centre and represents a £70 million investment.

Upon completion, Merchant Square will provide 201,000 sq ft of Grade A offices spread across nine upper floors, with additional support and amenity areas also being provided to accommodate up to 3,000 staff.

Speaking on behalf of Oakland Holdings, Gareth Graham said:

“We are very pleased to be partnering with PwC in the development of Merchant Square, which is already changing the face of Belfast city centre.”

“This announcement of Northern Ireland’s largest ever private sector office letting is a massive vote of confidence in the Belfast city centre.”

Commenting on the letting Brian Lavery, the Belfast MD of global real estate leader CBRE said:

“We have been delighted to work with Oakland Holdings in bringing their vision of Merchant Square to reality, and assisting in securing a global occupier, PwC, to this exceptional development. Oakland Holdings had the courage and foresight to speculatively develop much needed Grade A office space in Belfast city centre, a shortfall that CBRE had identified for a number of years.”

“Oakland Holdings, by demonstrating their expertise and ability to develop a building of this size, have been proven right by letting the entirety to a “blue chip” tenant such as PwC, which is great for them and for Belfast.”

PwC Northern Ireland regional chair and head of UK regions Paul Terrington, said PwC was looking forward to the move: “PwC Belfast is currently the biggest and fastest-growing office outside London, with close to 2,500 people supporting a wide range of global clients.

“We have ambitious plans for further growth and Merchant Square offers us an excellent mix of accommodation, convenience and proximity to transport links.

“We are also looking forward to moving back into the city and contributing to Belfast’s own ambitious growth proposals and supporting its City Deal initiative.”

PwC was represented by Stephen Deyermond, partner in TDK Property, a local Belfast practice.

Mr Deyermond commented: “TDK are delighted to have conducted this search and concluded the negotiations with Oakland on behalf of PwC. Even at the planning stage it was evident that Merchant Square was going to be a strong contender to meet the requirement. As the process developed, the fact that Oakland committed to build speculatively, together with the large floorplates, prime city centre location and overall deal structure, led it to be an obvious choice for PwC.”