Invest NI HQ building is put up for sale

The company that owns the Invest NI offices in Belfast city centre has put the complex up for sale.

Bedford Street Developments, a joint venture between Cookstown developer McAleer and Rushe and Dublin-based Dunloe Ewart, built the offices in 2005.

They were developed as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Invest NI.

The PPP is held in a company called MRDE Ltd and that firm's accounts suggest Invest NI paid about £4.7m in rent in 2011.

Other tenants of 100,000 sq ft development are the Public Prosecution Service and the Northern Ireland Law Commission.

The agent selling the premises, Osborne King, said it expects to achieve a price of more than £40m.

MRDE Ltd is owned by Bedford Street Developments which is controlled by the owners of McAleer and Rushe and a firm called Dunloe House (NI).

Dunloe House (NI) was formerly associated with the troubled Dublin developer Liam Carroll, though he resigned as a director in October.

The accounts of Bedford Street Developments state that its funders include the Irish government's National Asset Management Agency (Nama).

The accounts add that the firm entered into a five year agreement with Nama in 2011 which includes a gradual sale of properties and repayment of debt.

Stephen Surphlis, Property Director at McAleer and Rushe, said the sale was "part of our planned strategy aimed at exiting certain investment properties within our portfolio."

He added that investors would be interested in the PPP "by virtue of the government-backed nature of their return."