Castlebrooke Investments

  • Castlebrooke Investments has unveiled a series of positive changes to its original outline planning application.
  • North Street Arcade will return in a new format with space for independent retailers.
  • The height of the proposed Grade A office block on the corner of Rosemary Street and North Street has been significantly reduced.
  • Further retention of the historic streetscape of North Street and Donegall Street.

Castlebrooke Investments has today revealed a series of positive amendments to the outline planning application for Tribeca Belfast and launched a voluntary ten week public consultation process ahead of the submission of the proposal in Autumn 2019.

It has also been announced that a new world-class architectural design firm has been appointed to work on the amended proposals. Award-winning Squire & Partners has extensive global experience of successful mixed-use, regeneration projects which have included Southbank Place, Chelsea Barracks, The Broadway and the Warwick Road masterplan. The team from Squire & Partners will work alongside conservation architects from Belfast-based Consarc Design Group.

Tribeca Belfast is a £500m urban regeneration scheme on a 12-acre site located beside St Anne’s Cathedral bounded by Royal Avenue, Donegall Street, Lower Garfield Street and Rosemary Street. Sensitive refurbishment work is already underway to preserve the listed Garfield & North building on Lower Garfield Street.

In the plans revealed today Castlebrooke Investments has committed to bringing North Street Arcade back into use in a new format, with space designed for independent retailers.

The height of the Grade A office block on the corner of Rosemary Street and North Street, which was initially intended to be 27 storeys, has now been reduced to 10 storeys. There is also an increased allowance for green spaces, courtyards and residential space in line with the Belfast Agenda.

After careful review it has been determined that a greater number of historic streetscape on original buildings in the area can also be retained.

Neil Young, chief executive of Castlebrooke Investments, said: 

“We are very pleased to be able to reveal our proposed amendments to our outline planning application for Tribeca Belfast, changes which we feel demonstrate that we have listened to feedback from the city.  We will continue to listen and today we have launched a voluntary public consultation process into these planned changes ahead of the submission of our application. Our community exhibition will provide an opportunity for anyone interested to see the new plans and we will be revealing more information about this in the coming weeks.

“We believe that the plans revealed today address many of the areas of concern which have been raised to date, including the revision of the height of the Grade A office block on the corner of Rosemary Street and North Street, more green spaces and further retention of the historic streetscape of North Street and Donegall Street. Most importantly we have committed to returning North Street Arcade to use in a new format which will encourage a vibrant population of independent retailers.”

He added: “We are working alongside some of the best architects in the world to deliver revised plans which will work for Belfast. Our aim is still to put Belfast at the forefront of British and European cities with a new urban realm which blends the area’s history with state-of-the-art design. We believe that Squire & Partners are the best architects to help us bring this to life.”

Castlebrooke Investments has already invested £50m in site assembly, planning and professional fees, with further major investment planned.

Murray Levinson, partner at Squire & Partners, said:

“We’re excited to be working towards the regeneration of Tribeca Belfast, creating a new piece of the city informed by the heritage of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. The designs represent an opportunity to retain and repair significant historical buildings across the site, and interweave these with contemporary destinations to reactivate this part of the city. Our architectural approach responds to the varied context by employing a broad palette of materials and typologies to create a cohesive whole.

“The mix of uses across the site – designed to attract a variety of retail, restaurant, cultural and workplace tenants – and the creation of new public realm, will ensure this part of Belfast will be active throughout the day and into the evening. Providing a large number of residential apartments with shared gardens, as well as a hotel, will create a new opportunity for people to live in the city centre.

“A new focus for arts, culture and retail is provided within a colonnade of small units following the historic curve of the former North Street Arcade – with larger retail units and restaurants animating Writer’s Square and a newly created Assembly Square, adjacent to the listed Four Corners building.”

Graeme Moore, specialist conservation architect at Consarc Design Group, said:

“Consarc Design Group is delighted that we continue to be involved with the proposals for Tribeca Belfast to offer our expertise in building conservation. As with the previous proposals, all of the Listed Buildings within this phase are to be retained, restored and adapted for a sustainable ongoing use within the masterplan, rooting the new development in the unique historical character of this part of the city centre.

“Castlebrooke has genuinely listened to the concerns of interested parties and the new scheme incorporates a much greater degree of retention of non-listed building fabric which further protects the streetscape within the Conservation Area.

“The appointment by Castlebrooke of a new lead architect, Squire & Partners, brings with it a fresh approach of innovative quality design which responds to and respects the unique context. The proposals respond to the valuable comments of interested parties and the new scheme realises the aspiration of reintroducing the North Street Arcade with the end blocks to North Street and Donegall Street legible once again as entrances to this important connection.”

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