Plans have been announced to develop a new city centre office and hotel in Belfast city centre. The proposals to replace Norwich Union House, will deliver 113,000 sq. ft. of office space as well as a 174 bedroom hotel.
The plans are being brought forward by ES NUH Ltd, a development company associated with McAleer & Rushe. The hotel will have prominent frontage on to Queen Street whilst both Castle Street and Fountain Street will be activated by retail at ground floor with a 6-storey office building above. A proposal of application notice was submitted to Belfast City Council in February and a public consultation event will take place in April. The proposed development will create up to 400 FTE jobs during construction as well as 1500 permanent jobs and generate around £1m in business rates when it is complete.
Stephen Surphlis of ES NUH Ltd explained:
“We are very excited that this project will bring significant investment to this part of the city centre. We are looking forward to unlocking the potential of an area of the city that has suffered commercially as a result of the fire at Primark. We believe that this project represents an excellent opportunity to revitalise not just this site, but that our plans will make a major contribution to the broader regeneration of the area. Ultimately, this will help us to deliver a scheme that can provide the maximum benefit for new and indigenous businesses on a key city centre site. We look forward to engaging with Belfast City Council, local businesses and the wider community as we progress our planning application”
There continues to be a high level of demand for both office space and hotel rooms in the city centre. In recent months international firms have announced their intentions to expand their existing office presence in Belfast. Lambert Smith Hampton’s Ireland Office Market Report 2019 showed that last year total take-up of 885,023 square feet in Belfast, double that recorded in 2017.
John Davison, Director at planning and development consultancy Turley said:
“We are looking forward to taking forward this significant city centre project and are keen to engage with city stakeholders at the upcoming public information event prior to submission of the planning application. Interested parties can find out more about the project and engage directly with the project team at the consultation event taking place in the Linen Hall library on 11 April.”