Business news

Work completed on Belfast student block set to open as split aparthotel scheme

A room in the new Student Roost scheme on Little Patrick Street, Belfast.
Ryan McAleer

WORK is now complete on a new 430-bed student accommodation block in Belfast, but more than half the rooms will likely be used as an aparthotel for the next three years.

Co Down firm Graham carried out the 12-storey construction project on Little Patrick Street for Lacuna Developments and Watkin Jones Group.

The student accommodation block will be managed by Student Roost. But the firm behind the UK operator, Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management, lodged an application in April to use 266 rooms across floors five to 11 as an aparthotel until September 2023.

Planning officials in Belfast have already recommended approving the plan, subject to a section 76 agreement, which typically involves developers making contributions or adhering to certain conditions.

Ulster University’s new campus on York Street had originally been due to open in 2018, but it won’t be ready until at least 2022.

Floors 5-11 of the Little Patrick Street scheme are set to be used as an aparthotel for three years.

The 430-bed Little Patrick Street development was launched in 2018, with Graham reporting that more than 1,000 workers were involved in the massive project.

The Co Down developer says the student end of the scheme is now ready for the 2020/21 academic year. Levels one to 11 take on the same format with each floor consisting of six-bedroom clusters, , each with its own living, kitchen and dining spaces.

Site manager Paul Rush said the building had been completed “amid the most unprecedented circumstances”.

He said: “Covid-19 presented some challenges, but we are extremely proud of the concluded offering.

The Little Patrick development is Student Roost's fourth scheme in Belfast.

Neil Howells, head of development for Student Roost, said: “We’re really pleased with Little Patrick Street, which is Student Roost’s fourth property in Belfast. Graham have delivered a fantastic property for our residents ahead of the new academic year, despite the challenges posed by Covid-19.

“We have put extra social distancing and hygiene measures in place to ensure these amazing new spaces can be safely enjoyed by our new residents. We’re looking forward to welcoming them to Little Patrick Street very soon.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access