North Street Arcade was originally occupied by a number of small premises, of which the most significant was the Brookfield Linen Company warehouse, built 1869–1881.The linen trade was also prominent in Donegall Street (which was known as “Linenhall Street” in the 18th century). In 1936 the Brookfield Linen Company warehouse was demolished to make way for the North Street Arcade.
In May 1990 the building gained Grade B1 listed status. It became the property of William Ewart Properties in 2004, who had plans in the area for a new £120-million retail development. On 17 April 2004, the building was subject to an arson attack. The building has remained in a derelict state since then. No one was ever prosecuted.