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Old September 2nd, 2009, 05:54 PM   #21
hkskyline
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Apartment buyers face funding deficit
1 September 2009
Belfast Telegraph

BUYERS of apartments in the high-profile Titanic Quarter are seeking legal advice as they can no longer get mortgages to cover the original cost of their dream home, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

Completion of the first release of apartments is due next week and people who are contractually bound to buy at a price set two years ago before the property downturn now find themselves as much as £50,000 short thanks to low valuations by surveyors acting for lenders.

CMG Solicitors in Belfast confirmed they were acting for over 100 members of an action group of concerned buyers. A spokeswoman for the firm said they wanted a "commercial, viable and realistic" solution to the problem.

But purchasers are at a stalemate with developer Harcourt Developments, which maintains the contract for sale must be honoured at the original purchase price.

Buyers paid a 10% deposit two years ago for a sought-after apartment costing from £175,000 for a one-bed to £350,000 for a two-bed or £600,000 for a penthouse. Valuations are coming back an average of 30% short, leaving a buyer of the cheapest one-bed having to find around £50,000 to complete.

They are faced with having to raise tens of thousands of pounds from other sources after banks and building societies refused to pay out the full amount after carrying out fresh valuations.

One purchaser, who did not wish to be named, said: "Surely they could afford to reduce and certainly, they would still be in profit."

Estate agent Nicky Brennan of Morton Pinpoint -- not the agent acting in the sale of Titanic Quarter -- said the problem was being repeated across the city, from the highly-anticipated Ormeau Bakery development to an upmarket development at Custom House Square, where valuations are also reportedly around 30% short.

Mr Brennan said he could see both sides. "Why should developers give up a contract on the one hand -- but on the other hand, there should be some leeway even if people were prepared to walk away from their deposit. It's a tough one.

"Maybe there's some form of co-ownership which could be adapted for the situation."

Dr Martin Haran, a research associate at the University of Ulster's School of the Built Environment, said the problem of deficent valuations following pre-agreed prices was "widespread" in Belfast and Dublin. But he said solutions had previously been found in Belfast.

"It all depends on the developers' own flexibility and their flexibility with their bank in particular. Some developers have negotiated reduced costs and in some cases, equity share arrangements with buyers."

The Titanic Quarter is also the planned location of offices of Citigroup, a new Public Records Office and a campus for Belfast Metropolitan College.

Work on the Public Records Office has already started. There are plans for as many as 7,500 apartments.

In an interview with Bloomberg this year Mike Smith, Titanic Quarter chief executive, said around 400 apartments were bought in the summer of 2007, although demand for them has slowed dramatically with only a "handful" bought since then.

Mr Smith said: "The credit crunch has made a big impact. It's a tough time."

Meanwhile, Len O'Hagan, chairman of Belfast Harbour Commissioners, said last week that all but about 30 apartments in the initial phase of 500 had been sold.

A query to Harcourt Developments was directed to Mr Smith, but attempts to contact him for comment were unsuccessful.
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Old November 30th, 2009, 06:14 PM   #22
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Troubled city's big makeover
18 November 2009
Birmingham Mail

IT has been through more than its fair share of troubles.

But Belfast is looking to emerge from one of the darkest chapters in any city's history by delving into its past.

The Northern Ireland city almost took personal control of the term, The Troubles - a title which is still used to describe the generation of violence between Protestant and Republican that resulted in years of occupation by the British Army.

Seemingly bizarrely, that infamous period is still marked with taxi tours to places such as the Falls Road and Shankill Road - names that would have sent a shiver down the spine in years gone by due to atrocities carried out on both sides.

A ceasefire has at least brought some normality to the centre of Belfast - a place that was such a no-go area in the seventies that the historic Grand Opera House was almost demolished due to a combination of bomb attacks and a dearth of theatre and concert-goers.

Like much of the city centre, the building is now restored and that determination by Belfast to reclaim its place as a major attraction on the European map is seeing it embrace another, much older, slice of its colourful past.

Titanic fever is gripping the city again! A £1 billion project is underway to create a new Titanic Quarter - reclaiming and transforming around 75 hectares which previously saw the creation of the mighty luxury liner.

And in another twist, the first phase of the project will be concluded with the opening of a Titanic Museum, not only built over the original slipways of the tragic ship and its sister vessel Olympic, but due to be opened on April 15, 2012 - the centenary of the Titanic sinking with the loss of more than 1,500 passengers and crew.

The Harland and Wolff shipyards that built the Titanic are a shadow of their former selves, now barely scratching a living assembling off-shore wind turbines, but the legacy will live on.

When completed, the Titanic Quarter will also be occupied with luxury apartment and office blocks, and a trail leading from the museum to gardens in the shape of Titanic and Olympic. There will be a berth for another member of the fleet, Titanic's former passenger ferry Nomadic, which is being brought back from France where it was recently used as a restaurant.

The city's revival in fortunes is also resulting in a succession of top-class restaurants opening up on a regular basis, such as the impressive CoCo, with up-and-coming chef Jason More.

On the other side of the city, close to the Titanic Quarter, new high-rise apartment and office blocks are lifting up to the skies - just as the Belfast Wheel, complete with 42 gondolas, has been doing for the last 18 months.

It is a sure-fire sign that Belfast is undergoing a major makeover, seemingly oblivious to the recession. But if any city deserves it, Belfast surely does.
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Old November 30th, 2009, 08:08 PM   #23
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Great last article

More pics:

100% credit to G2GAP

Belfast Metropolitan College - Titanic Quarter Campus




Premier Travel Inn - Titanic Quarter










Landscaping around the ARC and installing the ARC sculpture...


































Public Records Office

[/QUOTE]
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Old June 13th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #24
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This is really good. The Titanic building looks amazing. How is the construction coming along? Still on schedule? I will be saving up to fly over in 2012 for the 100th anniversary. It shall be truly amazing.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 03:53 AM   #25
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It is so nice to see how Belfast is emerging from those times when it was impossible to overlooked the troubles they where confronting. This project is a perfect example of the new era. Go Belfast!!
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Old July 6th, 2010, 07:38 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllifialhL View Post
How is the construction coming along? Still on schedule?
Doubtful.
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Old July 6th, 2010, 07:43 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllifialhL View Post
It shall be truly amazing.
Not sure about "amazing"

Hopefully it'll be very good.

Though most of the area will still be wasteland if you come over in 2012.

But for Belfast to be paid a compliment from someone from a world class city like Sydney is very flattering.
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Last edited by Boba Fett22; July 6th, 2010 at 07:44 PM. Reason: missing word
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Old July 6th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geocarlos View Post
Go Belfast!!
Cheers.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 07:55 AM   #29
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I love this development. Certainly a model in terms of redevelopments of what were wastelands. Just would of hoped Melbourne's Docklands had as much thought put into it that this did.
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Old July 7th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #30
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What about the outline of the ship. Are they part of the 1st phase ?
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Old July 7th, 2010, 08:44 PM   #31
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http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=804116

Do you mean this?

I think it's been shelved.
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Old July 11th, 2010, 04:43 PM   #32
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Quote:
Not sure about "amazing"

Hopefully it'll be very good.

Though most of the area will still be wasteland if you come over in 2012.

But for Belfast to be paid a compliment from someone from a world class city like Sydney is very flattering.
Haha your very welcome. From what I have seen Belfast is beautiful.
"Amazing"-- I meant the 100th anniversary of the Titanic and the planned ceremony they will hold. Not so much the development itself, although it still looks good!
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Old July 26th, 2010, 09:18 PM   #33
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Some updates

Quote:
Originally Posted by hypnotoad24 View Post
This week's TSP progress:

image hosted on flickr


View of the ARC

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MET:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by plank007 View Post
image hosted on flickr


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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypnotoad24 View Post
Signature Project:

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PRONI

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conor View Post
[IMG]http://i48.************/ic5zyg.jpg[/IMG]

Pity about the anchor though, would have been great seeing how vast it was in person.
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