£75m to be invested in new Belfast student accommodation

  • Photo: Proposed student accommodation plans for Bradbury Place

    New student accommodation blocks are being planned for Belfast city centre in two investments totalling £75m, including by an Irish investment firm making its first acquisition in Northern Ireland.

    Elkstone Partners announced that the £20m development of 30-44 Bradbury Place will include 100 cluster and 56 studio beds over six floors for the 2022/2023 academic year and 3,900 sq. ft of ground floor retail space.

    Banbridge property development company, Lotus Property, has also lodged plans with Belfast City Council for the £55m construction of 724 new student apartments on 140 Donegall Street, which will cater for up to 15,000 students.

    Ciarán McIntyre, Chief Commercial Officer at Elkstone Partners, said: "Purpose-built student accommodation continues to be a fast-growing sector, and having seen activity surge across Ireland and the UK in recent years, we identified Bradbury Place as an opportunity to develop this market in Northern Ireland.

    “The development of this site, which will be ready to welcome students for the Autumn 2022 term, will significantly enhance the student accommodation offering in Belfast, particularly in the popular Queen’s Quarter of the city. Students can expect best in-class facilities with contemporary furnishings and a host of communal amenities.

    “The 3,900 sq. ft. of commercial space on the ground floor also presents an excellent opportunity for a retailer keen to capitalise on the increased footfall expected from the regeneration of this streetscape.”

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    The company has previously been involved in the planning, construction and operation of more than 2,000 beds across the UK and Ireland.

    Their site is within close walking distance to Queen's University Belfast.

    Lotus' 10-storey building on Donegall Street will offer areas for socialising and resident break-out spaces, a gym and wellness suite, a cinema room and a theatre kitchen.

    140 Donegall Street plans

    It is envisaged that up to 180 jobs will be created during the construction of the development, which is currently a car park.

    Lotus Property has previously developed ‘The Boulevard’ in Banbridge and ‘The Junction Retail and Leisure Park’ in Antrim.

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    Alastair Coulson, Managing Director of the firm said that "the proposed building is ideally located close to the new Ulster University campus building and in close proximity to public transport links and the city centre."

    “Despite the pandemic the demand for student accommodation in Belfast has been resilient and this proposal offers a fantastic investment opportunity," he continued.

    “Belfast City Council has prioritised city centre living in their Belfast City Centre Regeneration and Investment Strategy with a view to growing the population of the city centre to 66,000 by 2035 and with two major universities in the city the student population will need catered for.

    "The development at 140 Donegall Street offers a fantastic opportunity to help contribute towards this objective."

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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