9 – 21 Adelaide Street

Last Update: 1 Dec 2016 | Project Status Updated

A 9-storey, 100,000ft2 office building designed by Todd Architects and developed by McAleer & Rushe for Belfast City Council. Demolition and site clearance took place between April 2015 – September 2015. Construction commenced in September 2015 and was completed by December 2016.


Site History

On this site between 1828 – 1970 was a four storey residential terrace known as Adelaide Place. Nos.9-13 were built 1828 and Nos.15-21 were built c1830.

The residential terrace was demolished in the 1970s and a nine-storey building with three-storey basement car-park was developed. The 1970s ‘Silopark’ was a multi-storey car park that used lifts as opposed to spiral ramps between floors. A car bomb within the car park left the building vacant for many years until conversion to an office building; Clarendon House.

Merrion Properties Group lodged a planning application in January 2007 to demolish Clarendon House and replace it with a new ten storey commercial office building with basement parking. The proposal, designed by Farningham McCreadie Partnership, received planning permission in June 2007 though the scheme did not proceed.

Clarendon House was purchased by Jermon Developments from Merrion Property Group in late 2007 for £13m. In February 2008 a planning application (Z/2008/0372/F) was submitted by Jermon seeking approval for a development designed by Robinson McIlwaine Architects. The proposal to provide a replacement eleven storey building with offices located on the bottom six floors and hotel accommodation on the remaining upper floors received planning permission in March 2009.

The Golden Tulip Hotel was reported to have been considering operating from the building. During September 2010 the site was secured and hoardings erected in preparation for demolition. In early 2011 Jermon Developments were placed into administration.

In 2013 the site was placed on the market by Lisney with potential for redevelopment to office or hotel use, or refurbishment for office use. Indicative refurbishment schemes for a hotel and an office development were prepared by Fitzgerald & Hanna Architects for Lisney.

Belfast City Council commissioned CBRE to undertake a market site search for potential future Council office space. CBRE presented 14 potential locations to the Council in October 2014 and the Council appointed Deloitte to undertake an ‘Economic Appraisal and Options Report’ based on these properties and four Council owned sites. The appraisal recommended the acquisition of the Clarendon House site to develop new premises (adjoining the existing Council owned Cecil Ward Building). The appraisal estimated the capital cost associated with acquisition, demolition, build, decant and fees for the Clarendon House site at £21m. The Council agreed to seek the purchase of the Clarendon House site in March 2014 for the future development of city centre office accommodation for the Council. At a Council sub-committee meeting in April 2014 it was noted that the Council was unable to secure the site for a new build and that a further city centre site search would be implemented.

During summer 2014 Clarendon House was purchased by McAleer & Rushe. A planning application (Z/2014/1398/F) was submitted by McAleer & Rushe and Todd Architects in October 2014 proposing to demolish the existing building and develop a 10-storey replacement office building. The proposed building was reduced to nine floors and previously proposed car parking spaces at ground floor level were removed during the planning process. The application was approved by Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee on 19 May 2015.

On 20 May 2015 Belfast City Council announced an agreement to purchase the site and develop the new 100,000ft2 office building in a £24.7m deal with McAleer & Rushe.

McCormack Demolition began preparing the existing vacant building for demolition in April 2015. On Sunday 26 April 2015 scaffolding was erected around the building as part of the demolition works. Demolition works were completed by September 2015.

McAleer & Rushe commenced construction works in September 2015 and completed for handover to Belfast City Council in November 2016.