Belfast Telegraph

Odyssey Trust moves to keep Belfast residential and hotel scheme alive

An artist’s impression of the Odyssey Quays scheme in Belfast
An artist’s impression of the Odyssey Quays scheme in Belfast
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

The trust behind the Odyssey complex in Belfast has moved to keep a major redevelopment project at the site alive.

The Odyssey Quays proposal involves around 800 apartments, two hotels, as well as a series of retail space, offices, cafes, bars and car parking.

The 17 acre site largely encompasses the main and overflow car parks for the entertainment complex that includes the SSE Arena.

Odyssey Millennium Ltd (OML Belfast) originally launched the £100m scheme in late 2009 and was given outline planning permission in December 2013.

A linked infrastructure project that included a roundabout connecting the M3 slip lane, was launched in 2017, however there has been little movement on the main scheme.

The Odyssey Trust is not believed to be making any imminent moves to start work on the site.

But with the 10-year deadline on the massive mixed use project due to run out in December, OML Belfast has started the process to keep Odyssey Quays alive.

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A 'proposal of application notice' (PAN), which typically precedes a planning application, was lodged with officials at Belfast City Council on Friday.

Identical to the 2009 proposal, it includes a maximum of 798 residential units, two hotels, leisure facilities, community and cultural uses, cafes/bars/restaurants, public open space and multi-storey car parking. The hotels include a 160-bed building along the riverfront and a 250-bed venue at the eastern end of Sydenham Road.

The re-emergence of the Odyssey Quays scheme comes just four months after a London-based hospitality group announced its plans to build a hotel next to Titanic Belfast.

JMK Group is proposing a 280-bedroom 'family-friendly' hotel for the tourist hotspot, which would make it one of the biggest in the city.

Expected to be open at Hamilton Dock by the summer of 2021, the company said it wants to capitalise on the family-focused attractions in the Titanic Quarter by dedicating 100 rooms to families.

Belfast firm RMI Architects will design it, but no hotel brand has yet been identified.

JMK is run by the Kajani family, which already operates four hotels in London along with a Holiday Inn Express on O'Connell Street in Dublin and the Waterford Marina Hotel.

Its new Belfast hotel would lie between the Premier Inn's Titanic Quarter hotel at Queens Road and the 119-bed Titanic Hotel, located at the former Harland & Wolff headquarters. It will also sit just across the Lagan from the 188-bed AC Marriott Hotel, which opened on the City Quays' site in April 2018.

Meanwhile, UK-based company ReefLIVE has announced its bid for a £10m aquarium project in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.

The company has said it wants to open the attraction behind the Titanic Hotel by 2021.

Belfast Telegraph