Belfast planners recommend giving the green light to NI's first easyHotel
Belfast's first easyHotel looks set to win council approval. Planners have recommended the proposed budget 81-bedroom hotel at Howard Street is approved during next week's committee meeting.
The company is aiming to build its first hotel in the heart of the city centre.
It will sit above some of Belfast's best-known restaurants, including three spots owned by top chef Michael Deane - Meat Locker, Love Fish and Eipic, which is only one of two restaurants here with a Michelin star. The building is owned by David Crowe, and office space above the restaurants is empty.
The firm wants to convert the existing office space and a dry cleaners on the ground floor into the hotel, complete with a ground floor cafe. The existing building will be retained and refurbished and the Howard Street elevation will remain unchanged.
Planners have said the extension to Brunswick Street "will improve and enhance the character and appearance of the area and all important views within, into and out of the area will be protected".
The additional storey "will match and continue the original Georgian frontage with the existing rendered treatment replicated", a report said.
The application for the new hotel has been made by Davcrow Ltd, a company which counts David Crowe as one of its directors. Rapport Architects is behind the design of the hotel.
EasyHotel opened first opened in London in 2005. Since then it has expanded to around 25 hotels across Europe.
It has locations in Germany, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Holland, Hungary and Belgium.
The project is the latest hotel to get under way in the area and one of 27 new proposed developments across the city.
Behind it, the Grand Central, which at 304 bedrooms will be the largest hotel in Northern Ireland, is being built.