14/05/2010

Belfast Hotel Plan Dropped: Report

A government-supported plan to build a hotel in central Belfast has been scrapped, the BBC has reported.

Back in 2007, the Department for Social Development appointed Tullymore House Ltd as preferred developer for Armagh House in the city’s Ormeau Avenue, with plans to convert the building into an upmarket hotel.

However, the developers have now pulled out of the project saying it is no longer "economically viable".

Tullymore House Ltd is controlled by the County Antrim-based Hill family. They own the Galgorm Manor Hotel near Ballymena.
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A DSD spokesperson said it was disappointing that the development of Armagh House could not go forward as proposed, adding that the department "recognises that this is a difficult time for all developers."

"The contribution of the private sector is vital in our efforts to regenerate areas of deprivation and it is disappointing that this investment proposal has been lost.

"The department will be considering what other options might be possible including a new development brief competition."

Armagh House has been vacant and unused for several years now.

DSD also said it intended to offer a site in Londonderry's Foyle Street on the market again as soon as the economic climate improves.

Last month another developer, Big Picture, pulled out of a DSD-backed scheme to build a hotel and apartments at the site.

(NS/GK)

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