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Belfast college to become hotel

Belfast college to become hotel

Proposals to build a hotel on the site of a former college in Belfast have won approval from the city’s planning committee.McAleer & Rushe will now go ahead with their project, building a 135,000 sq ft hotel to replace the old Belfast Metropolitan College building off Brunswick Street, as well as a 467-bed student accommodation complex next door.Although Belfast Metropolitan College was only opened in 2007 after a merger between two existing institutions, the building off Brunswick Street was closed in 2011, after it was replaced by the new Titanic Quarter building.Once complete, the hotel will be made up of 206 rooms over 14 storeys, and will include restaurants, bars and leisure accommodation. One of its entrances will open onto Blackstaff Square.McAleer & Rushe property director Stephen Surphlis said: “This is great news for Belfast, as this is a centrally located hotel scheme, which is designed to complement Belfast’s forward looking aspirations and assist in meeting the undersupply in hotel provision.“The Belfast leisure market has recovered strongly following the downturn, with figures confirming strong occupancy levels and increasing room rates. This new hotel will help to satisfy increasing demand going forward as Belfast rapidly increases in popularity as a leisure and business destination.”In addition to the two newly approved projects, McAleer & Rushe are also planning a further student accommodation development on College Street. This will able to house 847 students. Between them, the three projects are expected to bring more than 300 construction jobs to the area.Mr Surphlis added that his company had "received strong interest from established hotel operators and have already commenced demolition of the existing college building", suggesting it will be a highly commercial development.Construction is set to begin in early 2016 after the site is cleared, according to the developers. 

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