The Vantage, Belfast

MRP transforms their Great Victoria Street property into ‘The Vantage’ – offering highly desirable and flexible office space in the heart of Belfast…

Privately owned, multi-award-winning investment and development company, MRP is the property division of McAleer & Rushe which has operated throughout the UK & Ireland for in excess 50 years. With offices in London, Belfast and Cookstown, the company specialises in the development of high-quality buildings within the office, hotel, residential and student accommodation sectors. 

‘The Vantage’ 

‘The Vantage’ was originally developed circa 30 years ago after which it became the home for the NIHE until 2019. Obtaining full vacant possession was the prime opportunity for MRP to redevelop and transform the property for a second time. The completed project boasts 65,000 square feet of office space over 11 floors and 2,250 square feet of retail space located on the ground floor. 

Gary Coyle, Quantity Surveyor for MRP explained, “The main objective was to deliver exciting new Grade A office space, achieved through a mix of contemporary and corporate design whilst respecting environmental awareness, MRP sought to attract a range of dynamic and ambitious business types.

“In lieu of demolishing a significant concrete frame, we opted for a more sustainable approach by retaining and adding to the existing structure – we achieved BREEAM ‘Very Good’, EPC ‘A’ Rating and substantially extended the life of the building. In addition, we attained Wiredscore ‘Gold’, ensuring the building is digitally fit for the future.”

During construction, a pre-let was secured with Atkins, Faithful + Gould, a world leading integrated project management consultancy, who now occupy a single floor in ‘The Vantage’. 

‘The Vantage’ is also home to Optical Express who operate a state-of-the-art laser eye surgery from this prime location on Great Victoria Street. MRP are currently in Legals with an expanding Telecoms & IT service provider as well as a national retailer for the ground floor retail unit which fronts onto Great Victoria Street. 

Scope of works

The scope comprised of extensive refurbishment works, including but not limited to:

• Stripping back of the entire building fabric to leave only the concrete frame. 

• Formation of double height reception space with speed gates and contemporary wall to ceiling light feature.

• New external envelope consisting of a lightweight internal skin with brickwork external skin.

• New glazing throughout including new punch windows, additional windows and new curtain walling. 

• New 2 floor, steel frame vertical extension clad in zinc and curtain 


• 11th floor external balcony space. 

• Complete new services installation including high pressure mist sprinkler system, air conditioning, lighting, plumbing and lifts. 

• Modern staff wellbeing amenities including showers, lockers & bicycle racks. 


The Covid pandemic forced the site to close for a period – once re-opened, specific procedures were adopted to maintain safe working conditions for all staff. Material shortages, also fuelled by the pandemic, put supply under pressure and hence prices inevitably increased. 

“Existing buildings offer challenges as unknowns can present themselves when the building fabric layers are peeled away. Along with our contractor and design team supply chain, we were able to mitigate any issues that arose,” said Gary. 

Gary added, “The original structural design would not have accounted for our ambitious modifications, the 2-storey vertical extension and formation of the double height reception space for example. This required careful structural consideration and appropriate construction methods including additional concrete columns and reinforcement.”

With limited space around the site, deliveries were meticulously managed and close interfacing with neighbouring businesses was vital to maintaining good relations. 

Commenting on the completed project Gary noted, “Developing the property for the second time in the company’s ownership was an exciting prospect – we were proud to reinvent the building as a more energy efficient and contemporary product.

“We backed ourselves in successfully delivering the project during a period of such uncertainty. It was an excellent opportunity for our team to deliver this important building for MRP and for the Belfast City Centre office market.

“And, in light of the project specific challenges, our trusted design team and contractor supply chain were vital to the successful delivery of the project.”


To see the full writeup on The Vantage, see our online issue here: