A row of terraced houses in the sought-after south Belfast Botanic Avenue area is on the market. The properties at numbers 87 to 91 around the corner from Queen’s University formerly had planning permission for two retail units and 23 apartments, which has now lapsed. The seller is a financial institution.
And Jonathan Keys of commercial property agents Osborne King said interest in the properties had been strong since they were first put on the market in October.
“It has been excellent to date, with over 50 parties registering their interest,” he said.
“Many of them have discussed possible redevelopment to include ground floor retail/restaurant use with residential accommodation above.”
Interested parties have until Friday to make a bid on the site — which Mr Keys summed up as a “great pitch”.
He added: “The property was placed on the market with an asking price of £295,000 and we have already received offers well in excess of this figure. We have implemented a closing date in order to maximise the level of return to our client.”
Botanic Avenue has become a hive of student activity in recent decades as the student population has settled in houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) in the so-called Holylands area, stretching between the leafy street and Ormeau Road.
But the move of Ulster University into the city centre has prompted a whole deluge of planning applications from a number of developers in both Northern Ireland and the UK, for blocks of student accommodation.
They range from the conversion of the former Belfast Met building at College Square East, to new builds in the area around York Street in the city centre, with the aim of being completed in time for the university’s new campus opening in 2018.
Mr Keys said: “While it is good to see the construction of modern student accommodation in the city centre, given Botanic Avenue’s close proximity to Queen’s University, the area continues to benefit from a high level of footfall.
“There is a focus on retail and leisure provision including established local brands as well as multi-national operators.”
Recent developments on Botanic Avenue include the opening of a new extended Boojum restaurant in what was once the AM:PM restaurant.
And Madison’s Hotel, which was formerly part of the Botanic Inns pub empire, is also on the market, with an asking price of £2.3m.