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Obel


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I had spotted this too, and despite it still being more than I would pay for a 1 bed, did a bit more research.

From an earlier article about Obel, it would seem that the studio apartments are so small that the beds fold out - i.e. there's no room to have bed there all of the time.

Sounds a bit like a caravan to me.

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add to the above the fact the external cladding is awful, alledgedly on account of the developer cheapening it to keep the scheme viable

i've also heard first hand that the structure is framed in such a way as to foul the views outwards

so, a pokey wee flat in a cheap looking high rise....nice

by comparisson the boat is a very elegant additon to the belfast skyline.

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The boat? Do you mean the Titanic apartments?

nope, the boat is the glass clad tower about 300m away on the same side of the lagan on custom house square, it has some rectangular multi coloured frames hanging of it.

i like the titanic apartments though, even if they are a little samey in finish to other buildings in TQ - well at least those constructed at the moment that is

for a landmark building which towers over its surroundings, i think its a real shame the cladding on the obel looks so poor, it almost makes the mirror clad post office look good :/

compare these images http://www.delapandwaller.com/projects_by_sector.php?sector=10&ProjectID=13 with the reality, you'll note the small glazed panel which runs at each level has been replaced with a matt gray panel.

Edited by eyes wide open
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haha hadn't seen that thread before, i once met the marketing guys who created the obel strapline 'live with your head in the clouds' etc.

not sure if anyone else noticed, but when the site hoarding was first erected the lettering was arranged all wrong with letters looking like they were 'falling' out the strapline. i asked the guys whether this was some kind of play on the marketing spiel, sadly it wasn't, as it would of at least been a talking point.

my theory is the sign writer was having a laugh, as it got changed after a few weeks :)

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  • 3 months later...

As a purchaser in Obel I would like to share information and experiences with other purchasers.

After a very long wait - since Aug 2005 - to be precise and several extensions of time by the developer we have finally been informed that the tower is complete and ready for occupation as of today 30th June 2010.

We finally got to see the 'iconic' 'landmark' building up close and personal on Mon 28th June. It was a bit of an anti climax. The views from the apartment are staggering but the developer cannot claim credit for these. The internal finishes by contrast are very banal and ordinary rather than the 'exacting specification at Obel' which 'celebrates design and style in harmony'. Having purchased off plan back in 2005 we are probably paying one of the lowest purchase prices with apartments having been purchased more recently at almost twice the 2005 price. Anyone paying over the odds is bound to be dissatisfied in the extreme.

There was no communication from the developer leading up to completion. No opportunity to have an input into the finish of individual apartments or upgrade if desired. Instead we have been presented with a fait accompli whereby the developer has saved as much time and money as possible by using a standard finish with laminate kitchens and bathroom fittings which are adequate but hardly luxurious or high specification.

The most worrying costcutting exercise has seen the replacement of phoenix gas central heating with wall mounted electric heaters. Furthermore soundproofing membrane has been laid to all floors like some afterthought. Obviously this is replacing a more expensive alternative that would have been an integral part of the building. Ventilation is also of concern as there is so much glass yet so few and such restricted window opes.

The foyer which was supposed to be interior designed is completely bland and nondescript and could in no way be described as a grand entrance. It consists of a hallway with cream floor tiles and white painted walls. The only relief if you can call it that are the lift doors and two wooden doors one leading to the mailroom and the other the staircase. The lifts themselves are small and claustrophobic.

The approach to the building still resembles a building site with paving ongoing and the carparking is not yet available for use though no explanation for this is forthcoming.

I would be interested to hear the views of others in similar circumstances as we are now expected to complete.

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we have been presented with a fait accompli whereby the developer has saved as much time and money as possible by using a standard finish with laminate kitchens and bathroom fittings which are adequate but hardly luxurious or high specification.

The most worrying costcutting exercise has seen the replacement of phoenix gas central heating with wall mounted electric heaters. Furthermore soundproofing membrane has been laid to all floors like some afterthought. Obviously this is replacing a more expensive alternative that would have been an integral part of the building. Ventilation is also of concern as there is so much glass yet so few and such restricted window opes.

The foyer which was supposed to be interior designed is completely bland and nondescript and could in no way be described as a grand entrance. It consists of a hallway with cream floor tiles and white painted walls. The only relief if you can call it that are the lift doors and two wooden doors one leading to the mailroom and the other the staircase. The lifts themselves are small and claustrophobic.

The approach to the building still resembles a building site with paving ongoing and the carparking is not yet available for use though no explanation for this is forthcoming.

If you think you don't want to complete as a result of the issues you raise I suggest the following. You must take legal advice on whether the developer has breached their contract in any way which may allow you to refuse to complete. That would require a careful examination of the contract, any obligations upon the developer as to standards/finishes/spec and any advertising brochure or such like which may have encouraged you to sign off plan. The latter might be regarded as 'incorporated' into the contract. Was the completion conditional on finance being available? Any mortgage offer would be completely past its use by date - usually only 6 months. Take advice at once!

Edited by plummet expert
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Thanks for posting this - very interesting indeed.

Do you mind if I ask how much you paid for your apartment in 2005 and what sort of apartment it is? (i.e. how many bedrooms)

I remember about a year ago seeing an Obel apartment for sale at a price that seemed to be lower than other apartments at the time. But after some research, it turned out it was a studio apartment, and if I remember correctly even had a fold away bed of some sort because space was so lacking.

I would love to live in an apartment that's really high up, so I was keen to see how Obel turned out - it's such a shame that it seems they've taken short cuts and not done the job properly - seems it's not about quality any more but getting things built with as little cost as possible.

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Hi Joe

The apartment sold for £176,000 back in 2005. It has two bedrooms, is approx 735 sq ft in size and faces out over Belfast Lough although there are views of the city as well. It's on the seventeenth floor so the views are panoramic and each of the bedrooms as well as the sitting room has a full wall of windows to capitalise on the view.

At the height of the property boom similar apartments in Obel sold for around £340,000. We are all waiting to see what kind of valuation is put on them in today's market. Don't get me wrong - it's a fine enough apartment and we probably bought at a reasonable price - but the amount of hype surrounding this development led everyone to expect something spectacular and anyone who bought at the top of the wheel prices has paid much too much. Considering that the developers strapline was

'We encourage people to live with their heads in the clouds' I guess we should have all been more cautious and realistic.

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The thing is, even £176,000 seems like a lot for a 2 bed apartment to me, but it's good that you have one so high up - that makes it a rare thing in Belfast - an apartment at that altitude with those views. Is there even any other blocks in Belfast at the moment with 17+ floors?

I just googled Obel - 28 stories in total! Incredible - the views from the top must be mind-blowing. 233 apartments in total - it will be interesting to see how many of those who bought are owner occupiers and how many bought to rent.

On the wikipedia page for Obel there was a link to a topic of discussion on an architecture forum about it, someone else has mentioned the electric heaters:

http://www.skyscrape...=713278&page=19

I've not seen the building up close, but from a distance it looks impressive, if only because of the scale of the thing.

It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months - how many become available to buy - how many become available to rent. Are you considering trying to back out of buying it, seeing what you've seen now? If that is the case, your best bet is probably to get a group of people in the same position together and approach this as a group - you may stand more of a chance that way.

Edited by JoeDavola
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The original brochure promised an hotel as part of the complex.This is not now happening !!

[in addition to these exclusive contemporary fitted living spaces, the Obel will offer a modern hotel, and entertainment facilities that will make socialising a pleasure for residents, the business fraternity, and visitors alike”

Misdescriptions act?

quote name=JoeDavola' date='30 June 2010 - 11:02 PM' timestamp='1277935355' post='2599375]

The thing is, even £176,000 seems like a lot for a 2 bed apartment to me, but it's good that you have one so high up - that makes it a rare thing in Belfast - an apartment at that altitude with those views. Is there even any other blocks in Belfast at the moment with 17+ floors?

I just googled Obel - 28 stories in total! Incredible - the views from the top must be mind-blowing. 233 apartments in total - it will be interesting to see how many of those who bought are owner occupiers and how many bought to rent.

On the wikipedia page for Obel there was a link to a topic of discussion on an architecture forum about it, someone else has mentioned the electric heaters:

http://www.skyscrape...=713278&page=19

I've not seen the building up close, but from a distance it looks impressive, if only because of the scale of the thing.

It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months - how many become available to buy - how many become available to rent. Are you considering trying to back out of buying it, seeing what you've seen now? If that is the case, your best bet is probably to get a group of people in the same position together and approach this as a group - you may stand more of a chance that way.

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I think for 176,000 you really do need your head looked at. Have you bought this to rent out or to live in? I would imagine you will be able to rent the place out for around 600 pcm if that’s what you're doing. But 176k for a two bed in Belfast. You'll be luck if its worth anywhere near the 2005 price even with a fantastic finish. If I remember correctly there is still a large release in Obel coming. Don’t be surprised if your neighbours become a housing association. I feel for you being stuck with this unwise purchase for a very long time but on the plus side at least it has fantastic views. Don’t be surprised if the valuations come in at 30%+ this 2005 price.

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...and the railway line! I passed today on the Larne line and can see straight into the apartments. At least one appears to be occupied; poor *******. :(

And from the motorway, what with the views and economy 7 heating Obel would certainly seem to redefine " luxury " living ;)

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