Odyssey plan may bring up to 1000 jobs
PLANS to extend the Odyssey could create 1,000 new jobs. Hotels, shops and apartments are all planned for the Odyssey extension, which has just received planning permission.
Described as the biggest redevelopment in Belfast in years, work is due to start immediately.
The extension by the Odyssey Trust will be sited beside the existing arena and pavilion, and 800 people will work on its construction.
The scheme will feature 800 apartments, two hotels, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants as well as community and cultural use space, according to planners Turley Associates, which acts for the Odyssey Trust.
Turley Associates said the apartments would include some shared equity and co-ownership units.
Brian Hughes, operations director of Odyssey Trust Company, said: "This is a major milestone towards the redevelopment of Queen's Quay at Odyssey.
"It has always been our ambition to create an exemplar mixed-use space that will enhance the success of Odyssey.
"The development will create a seamless connection between the city centre and the extensive Titanic Quarter, providing an extended leisure offer, new homes and much-needed quality jobs."
Turley Associates' Sheila Murphy said: "It is the largest redevelopment scheme the city has seen for many years and will complete and complement Odyssey."
She said approval was "timely" as it coincided with a review of the council's Belfast City Masterplan, and said the development reflected the aims of the plan.
"We consider that the Odyssey together with other major redevelopment proposals along the River Lagan will perform an essential role in growing the city and the status of these deliverable projects should be promoted as strategic with-in the masterplan."
Last month, Belfast Harbour won planning approval for its Grade A office development City Quays 1 near Belfast Harbour Office at Clarendon Dock.
And in September, Titanic Quarter Ltd lodged a planning application for new offices beside Belfast Metropolitan College's Titanic Quarter campus.
It's now 13 years since the Odyssey was unveiled as Belfast's Millennium Project and since then, the arena has played host to hundreds of pop stars and bands.
However, the pavilion has had a more chequered history after it was repossessed by then Anglo Irish Bank over the borrowings of developer Peter Curistan, who masterminded the original Odyssey concept. It was put on the market at £10m.
Mr Curistan then sued the bank, later the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation, alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and negligence