Belfast Telegraph

Apartments and shops plan for site of ex-bank building

Commercial Property

By Christine Carrigan

The former First Trust Bank on the Upper Ormeau Road in Belfast could be demolished to make way for a new retail and cafe development.

A planning application, made by PWD Developments, is seeking to create a mixed use development, which will incorporate two ground floor units and eight apartments.

The proposed scheme would involve the demolition of the two-storey First Trust Bank building to make way for the new three-storey project.

The former First Trust branch, on the opposite side of the road to The Pavilion and Errigle bars, was put on the market last year with a price tag of around £350,000.

The proposed building design has been developed to improve the streetscape, and according to the architects, offers a clean, crisp and modern interpretation of a traditional design.

The proposal also allows for a landscaped communal courtyard area to the rear of the building and bicycle parking spaces are to be provided in an aim to promote alternative forms of transport, as the site also has access to regular public transport facilities.

However, the plan does state that there will be on-street parking facilities available for those who require them.

The PWD company is owned by Pat, Manus and Julie McCormack. Although primarily a residential developer, Pat McCormack is well known in Belfast's hospitality sector.

He previously owned the popular Cafe Vaudeville nightspot on Arthur Street, which was sold to the English owned Revolution Bars Group for a figure believed to be around £2.5m.

It's the latest bid in a series of proposals to develop new apartment and retail units on the Upper Ormeau Road.

Planners are already considering separate proposals for two other landmark buildings in the area.

Knockburn LTD, owned by Co Tyrone property developer Padraig Drayne, is behind a plan to build 59 apartments on the vacant Ballynafeigh PSNI station.

The bid also includes three ground floor units set up for a cafe, restaurant or retail unit and a communal courtyard.

Just a short distance away, Fratelli (Belfast) Ltd is continuing its efforts to convert the old Holy Rosary Church into a 21-bed hotel and pizza restaurant.

Belfast Telegraph

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