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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 10:32 GMT
Belfast's tallest building revealed

Plans have been revealed for what will be the tallest building in Northern Ireland.

The Aurora building on Belfast's Great Victoria Street will be 37 storeys and more than 300ft high.

It will contain almost 300 apartments and 7,000 sq ft of commercial space and will be 28 metres taller than the Obel Building, currently under construction at Donegall Quay.

The plans for the 90m development, estimated to create 300 jobs during its two year construction, have been submitted to the Planning Service.

Designed by international firm HKR Architects, the building will be located on Great Victoria Street, at the corner with Ventry Street.

Developer Mervyn McAlister said a key feature of the building would be its energy efficient design.

The roof construction will create "a unique lighting effect intended to simulate the northern lights of the Aurora (borealis) at night".

'Innovative scheme'

McAlister Holdings said it believed the building would become an iconic landmark for Belfast, "helping to further stimulate the ongoing exciting social and economic regeneration of Belfast city centre".

"Aurora will set a new benchmark for residential and commercial development in the City Centre," said Mr McAlister.

"It will be recognised as the most exciting and innovative scheme of its type ever built in Northern Ireland.

"Its construction, when seen alongside schemes such as Victoria Square, Bedford Square and the Obel Building, reflects the growing confidence of Belfast moving forward into the future.

The tower will be the biggest building in Belfast
The tower will be the biggest building in Belfast

"Trends show that across the UK and Ireland, more and more people want to live and work in the city centre. Aurora is very much aimed towards that expanding marketplace.

"The building will become a new landmark at the gateway to the city centre from south Belfast. Its construction will enhance and enrich the evolving skyline of Belfast and will help add to the developing cosmopolitan city centre culture."

Bill Morrison of Strategic Planning said: "City centres are where you expect to see tall buildings.

"As in other UK cities, proposals like this should be seen as setting the tone for 21st century development in Belfast city centre"

In March 2005, plans were announced to create what was then set to be Belfast's newest tallest building.

The 50m Obel Tower will be a 26 storey residential building, including an eight storey hotel, apartments and a seven storey office suite at Donegall Quay.




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