Luxury flats planned for Ireland's tallest building

The tallest building in Ireland is to be turned into luxury apartments, it emerged tonight.

County Cavan building company P Elliott, has bought Belfast’s Windsor House for around €44m and plans to convert it into upmarket flats.

The 23-storey block is full of government offices, including the Parades Commission and the British-Irish Joint Secretariat as well as the European Commission.

University of Ulster housing expert Paddy Gray said: “Certainly you will find that plenty of people want to live in the city centre as Belfast grows in popularity.

“You will find that those apartments in the city business district will hold their prices very well, it is a very good location and there is obviously demand for people to live in the city centre.”

P Elliott will have to obtain planning permission for a residential redevelopment of the premises.

Nearby Victoria Square is being built at present and will also include high-specification dwellings for professionals.

Mr Gray, senior lecturer in housing, added: “It is a trend across the UK and in Dublin, where you have developments in areas like the Temple Bar and many apartments have been sold at the Dublin docklands.

“There is more confidence coming into Belfast now and people would be willing to pay very high prices to live in the city centre and avoid commuting.”

Costs have soared in the city in recent years and price growth is expected to continue.

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