Ireland's tallest building effectively repossessed

Saturday 01 December 2012 20.00
The 28-storey skyscraper was built at Donegall Quay in 2005
The 28-storey skyscraper was built at Donegall Quay in 2005

Ireland's tallest building has effectively been repossessed, it was confirmed last night.

The 85m-high Obel Tower in Belfast was built at the height of the property boom, but administrators have been called in because its owners owe the bank millions.

The 28-storey skyscraper was built at Donegall Quay in 2005 for £75m.

The plans initially included 180 luxury apartments, a hotel and prime office space along Belfast's redeveloped waterfront.

In 2007, some studio apartments went on the market for £90,000 while the penthouses had a price tag of around half a million pounds.

Since its construction the Obel Tower has been the subject of some adverse publicity and was shortlisted as one the ugliest buildings in the UK.

The economic downturn and subsequent property crash has also made it difficult to sell small studio apartments in a city where space is not at a premium.

This has meant that although the six-floor office block is occupied by top international legal firm Allen and Overy, much of the rest of the giant complex is still empty.

An official notice on the Belfast Gazette web page – Northern Ireland’s government publication for details of insolvency and company law - said KPMG had been appointed after building contractors and construction companies Obel Ltd, Obel Offices Ltd and Donegall Quay Ltd which control the massive building, applied for insolvency.