Developer applies to build £7m apartment block on Belfast's Dublin Road
A £7m plan for 71 new apartments in Belfast's Golden Mile has taken a step forward, potentially creating 50 jobs.
Developer John Smyth's Estates has formally submitted an application for the 10-storey project on the Dublin Road.
The development would also include a new ground floor restaurant.
Featuring a mix of one-bedroom and two-bedroom self-contained units, the apartment block would be built on the site of Kitch Restaurant, ranked by TripAdvisor as one of the top 20 restaurants in Belfast.
A second building next door, which would also have to make way for the development, is a former restaurant, now vacant.
If approved, the structure would sit next to the The Gallery, the 58-unit apartment development built by Gary McCausland and Richland Group.
Richland obtained planning permission for a 250,00 sq ft office building on the site of the Movie House Cinema in 2017.
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Christened One Bankmore Square, the cinema along with the planning approval was acquired by tech firm Kainos in a £7m deal in February.
The IT consulting and software company said it expects to downgrade the project to a 110,000-115,000 sq ft development, set to be ready by 2021.
It will be the new base for the firm's 650 Belfast workforce.
The recent construction of the nine-storey student accommodation block Botanic Studios across the street, has also set the precedent for a similar style development on the Dublin Road.
John Smyth's Estates Ltd is a family-owned real estate firm based in Holywood.
Building industry monitor CIS has put the estimated value of its project at around £7.3m.
A report submitted to Belfast City Council in support of the bid has revealed that the design of the proposed building was modified following concerns expressed by the owners of The Gallery during the pre-application public consultation.
"The owner of the adjacent building also highlighted a potential fire safety issue that could have been created for The Gallery, which is now avoided by the cutting back of the proposal, leaving a gap between the two buildings to allow air flow to The Gallery," the report noted.