Business

London group redraws Titanic Quarter bid to include aparthotel

An artist's impression of JMK's proposed hotel/aparthotel in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

THE London-based property group behind a major hotel development in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter has redrawn its plans for the project.

The JMK Group was granted planning approval in January 2020 for a 276-bedroom hotel across the road from the Titanic tourist attraction.

Originally billed as a ‘family friendly’ hospitality venture, JMK is now proposing to build just 156 traditional hotel bedrooms at the site.

Instead, the proposed building will feature 98 aparthotel rooms, accessed from a separate entrance.

The redrawn plans will involve each aparthotel including a fully equipped kitchen with dedicated work space.

The property group said “the revised plans are reflective of a change in market demand”.

Closer to a serviced apartment than a traditional hotel room, aparthotels are still a relatively new concept in Belfast.

Work recently commenced on a 175-unit aparthotel on Belfast’s Queen Street.

Oakland Holdings, the company behind the 10 storey development, claimed it would be the city’s first aparthotel.

However, a major aparthotel scheme emerged through the back door last year, when the developer behind a new 430-unit student accommodation block next to the Ulster University campus in Belfast, secured planning approval to temporarily turn the top half into an aparthotel.

Meanwhile, Belfast hotel group Andras House has also secured planning approval for a 13 storey aparthotel on Bedford Street.

Industry monitor Construction Information Services Ireland has put the estimated value of JMK’s project at £30 million.

An online public information event will take place on Tuesday November 30 (6pm-7pm) in respect of JMK’s redrawn bid (hamiltondockconsultation.co.uk).

JMK’s Irish hotel portfolio includes the Holiday Inn Express and Hampton by Hilton in Dublin city centre, as well as the Holiday Inn at Dublin Airport and Waterford Marina Hotel.

In the 22 months since JMK secured planning permission for the Titanic Quarter site, Belfast Harbour has launched a joint bid for 778 apartments next door.

Lacuna Developments and the Watkin Jones Group are joint developers for the Loft Lines proposal, which could soon dominate the Titanic Quarter’s skyline.

The plans provide for 151 social housing units, all in the same residential block.

The remaining 627 units will be allocated for the rental market, comprised of around 500 (one, two and three bedroom) apartments; including 121 one-person studio apartments; and ten two person accessible apartments.

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