Property fund makes £20m loan to Belfast office block project
A property fund agreed under the last Northern Ireland Executive has made its first loan.
A total of £20m is being advanced towards a new office block being built at Wellington Place in Belfast city centre.
The fund, which was launched last November, contains £100m for commercial property and regeneration projects.
The executive agreed the fund as part of the 2016-17 budget.
It makes loans to "viable projects that cannot source funding from traditional sources", like banks.
The office project, known as Merchant Square, is being undertaken by Oakland Limited and will cost £70m.
It will house up to 3,000 staff over nine floors.
Retail space will occupy the ground floor.
The project involves the redevelopment of two existing buildings, Oyster & Royston House.
The Department of Finance appointed commercial agents CBRE to manage the fund, overseen by "a scrutiny board."