Start of work on a 90-unit housing complex on the former site of the Park Avenue hotel

Gary McDonald Editor-in-Chief

04 May 2022 01:00

ONE of the north’s largest housing associations, Choice, has presented details of its plans for a mix of 90 new homes on the former site of the Park Avenue hotel in east Belfast.

The once-popular 56-room Holywood Road Hotel, which opened in 1959, has been razed since it closed for good in 2020.

Choice said its £16million scheme, due to be completed by spring 2024, will consist of 63 units for social housing use and 27 for private rent.

The development involves hard and soft landscaping, including communal gardens, provision of parking spaces, tenant and staff centre, bicycle parking, substation, retaining walls and associated works , including road improvement works at the junction of Park Avenue and Sefton Drive.

Choice Group Managing Director Michael McDonnell said, “We recognize the historic significance of this site, and our thoughtful plans will enhance the existing streetscape, create high quality development and complement the local built environment.

“There has been significant investment in the Belfast City Council area with 15 developments completed in the past three years, an investment of over £66m.

“This latest investment of £16 million further demonstrates our commitment to meeting the growing need for quality affordable housing in the Belfast area.”

The 90 new homes will include a range of two- and three-bedroom houses and two-bed apartments, offering a mix of social and private tenures.

Maple and May, subsidiaries of Choice, will manage 27 of the two-bedroom apartments as private rental units.

Project developer Lacuna Developments, alongside contractor EHA Group and RPP Architects, worked with Choice to develop the project.

Mr McDonnell added: “Demand for affordable housing in Northern Ireland is growing, whether social or affordable rent or buy options. We will continue to demonstrate the far-reaching benefits of mixed-use developments that can foster greater social and economic benefits facilitating and supporting thriving sustainable communities.”

Mark Gilmore, Construction Manager at EHA Group, said: “We are committed to working with the social housing sector to build affordable, quality housing in areas that need it most.

“Mixed-occupancy developments are the future and together with Choice and its partners, we developed a project that offered the best in sustainable housing while paying particular attention to its surrounding area.”