Page last updated at 06:16 GMT, Tuesday, 24 June 2008 07:16 UK

Foundations set for city tower

Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie with Aran Blackbourne of Karl Properties and Eamon O'Hare from O'Hare and McGovern at the start of above ground work at Obel Tower.
Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie helps out at the start of above ground work at Obel Tower.

Above-ground work on what will be Belfast's tallest building has got under way.

The 75m 28 storey Obel tower, will tower over Donegall Quay when completed in two years time.

The development by Karl Properties has been described as an obelisk set in old Belfast.

Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie said the 88.31m high building "will undoubtedly become an iconic landmark for Belfast".

Obel Tower artist's impression
The 88.31 metre high tower will become a landmark for the city

Aran Blackbourne, Director of Karl Properties, said there had been challenges to the build.

"Having successfully overcome the challenges of working in Belfast's difficult ground conditions beside the river and completed the foundation piling and two levels of basement car parking, we are now delighted to have appointed construction company O'Hare and McGovern to enable us to move to the next phase of construction above ground level," he said.

Obel Tower is to include apartments, 274 car parking spaces, office and commercial space.

There is also the possibility of a 105 bed hotel on the site and it is expected that more than 160 jobs will be created during the two year build.

Karl Properties is now the sole promoter of the scheme following the purchase of the entire shareholding of Donegall Quay Limited, of which it was previously the majority shareholder.

The development is being financed by Bank of Scotland, Ireland.

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