11th Feb 2020 in Business

Plans for a 151-bedroom hotel in Cathedral Quarter will represent a £20m investment on the site of the former Nambarrie Tea factory at the junction between Waring Street and Victoria Street.

Lawrence and Brendan Duddy Jnr have already purchased the tea factory site for £2.5m as part of a venture with Propiteer Limited, and have notified the council of their intention to demolish the building, which the council had previously approved as an apartment development.

The new hotel will be operated as Moxy Hotel, part of the Marriott Hotel Group and will be the first Belfast operation by the Duddy Group who have hotel and property investments in Dublin, Derry, Portrush and Exeter.

Speaking in an interview with the Irish News Lawrence Duddy said: “Belfast is a great busy city that is doing well and it’s our second home I suppose. It’s a great location and a natural progression for us.
“It’s probably going to be a £20m investment overall.”

Under plans submitted to the council the hotel will be seven storeys tall and will cover the site of the tea factory and the neighbouring office building. Cathedral Quarter’s growth was key for the brothers, and they are not deterred by entering the hotel market, despite the growing competition.

“The hotels in Belfast are marginally down in their average room rates and occupancy, but they’re still very strong. The sector had been under-supplied for a long time,” he added.

“It could be two years away by the time this happens and we’re assuming the market will be even more settled by that stage. “

His brother, Brendan said, in the same interview: “This will bring more people to Belfast. It’s not only about the hotel business, it’s about all business in Belfast, whether that’s new investment for jobs or in leisure.

“More business brings more business and it’s very important that all those things have the capacity.”

Gareth Neill, DCQ BID Manager said: “The appetite for the hotel sector continues to grow at pace. There are a significant number of applications across the Cathedral Quarter for hotels and hospitality venues; this is great to see and in the interim we continue to lobby Council and statutory agencies to compliment these developments with investment in the longstanding infrastructure schemes in the vicinity.

“The places and spaces between the buildings are just as important to the experience of an area than the buildings themselves”

As part of the development then Duddy Group will be working with Propiteer Limited, which was co-founded by Colin Sandy, former finance director at Lord Alan Sugar’s Amshold Group, and investor Dave Marshall.

They have worked as a team that bought the 150-room Ibis Red Cow Hotel in Dublin.

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