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More choice? Improved opening hours?
I don’t think you quite grasp the business case or economics of it. Opening hours can be changed without extending the building.

It’s taken them years to get to the point they are at now where they have a small number of vacant units. Extending and having more empty units would led to a financial loss.

Retail as a sector is already in decline and will continue to decline so why would they spend millions with no real prospect of a positive return?
 

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Limelight events hub at Belfast's Cathedral Quarter gets green light

Belfast's Cathedral Quarter has received a boost with planning permission granted for a new music and entertainment hub.

City councillors have given the green light to turn the former Arnott's fruit and vegetable warehouse on Dunbar Street into an events space with a 1,600 capacity. The proposal was first submitted to Belfast City Council in late 2018 and finally approved by members of the planning committee yesterday evening.

Proposed floor plans for the 882sqm two-storey building, located close to St Anne's Square, show a stage and bar area as well as dressing rooms, a cloakroom and first aid area.

Planning documents reveal that the new Limelight venue will be used for live music concerts and comedy events, live podcast recordings and TV/film recordings, with a maximum of two events per week.
 

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I don’t think you quite grasp the business case or economics of it. Opening hours can be changed without extending the building.

It’s taken them years to get to the point they are at now where they have a small number of vacant units. Extending and having more empty units would led to a financial loss.

Retail as a sector is already in decline and will continue to decline so why would they spend millions with no real prospect of a positive return?
I don't see the same pattern in Northern Ireland. Shopping is still popular as ever in this country.

We don't have the same cultural norms as the English. You can see this when you visit Southern England. I was recently in Exeter where all shops shut at 5-6pm throughout the week, as an example.
 

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I don't see the same pattern in Northern Ireland. Shopping is still popular as ever in this country.

We don't have the same cultural norms as the English. You can see this when you visit Southern England. I was recently in Exeter where all shops shut at 5-6pm throughout the week, as an example.
The only difference that's relevant to NI is the small population, which means that the big chains didn't feel the need to over saturate the market. That's why House of Frazers, Debenhams and the like have one branch each in NI that do quite well in comparison to stores elsewhere in the UK. However, if you tried to throw a John Lewis or a Selfridges into the market, you can be pretty sure HoF and Debenhams would be talking about closing their local stores, because there simply isn't a big enough addressable market to absorb 3-4 big department stores.

The dynamics are a bit different for smaller stores, but not so different that NI is somehow unique when it comes to retail. The trend right across the industrialised world is that big brand, high street retail is in terminal decline. I think it's highly unlikely you'll ever see a major shopping mall expanding or being built in the city centre again.

You can say that shopping is as popular as ever in NI, but ask the finance department of any retailer and they'll tell you something very different.
 

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Shouldn’t have assumed, but did think that this site was assembled on behalf of by Belfast city council for their proposed ‘Belfast Story’ visitor attraction. Though, any word of that seems to have died a death of late.
 

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Another hotel FFS, lol! :lol:


Needless to say, SaveCQ have waded in... i do agree, given it's lauded art-deco status and would-be bohemian environs, that this could be re-purposed for something much more creative and imaginative than McAleer and Rushe backed hotel (especially if its a chain one) and offices etc..
I would love to have a look at the business plans for some of these proposed hotels.

I can see why Marriott would want to build a Moxy hotel, as the only competitor that I can think of for that type of super-trendy yuppie market is Bulleit. That's probably a safe investment for Marriott, especially in a good location at the edge of CQ.

Titanic Hotel in TQ make sense because it really is unique, and I can see the rationale for something marketed as a family-friendly hotel like the proposal at Hamilton Dock.

But apart from that I'm struggling to see what other gaps there are in the market. The lower range and 3-4* business hotel markets must be close to saturation, and will be for several years. The business hotels all do discounted rates at weekends so they're presumably eating into the budget hotel market depending on time of year and day week.

Merchant, Culloden and Fitzwilliam have the 5* market cornered.

Thankfully the stag and hen party market seems to have failed before it got stared thanks to Signature Living's imminent exit.

So what other customers do hotel operators think they're targeting? I'm baffled.
 

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Shouldn’t have assumed, but did think that this site was assembled on behalf of by Belfast city council for their proposed ‘Belfast Story’ visitor attraction. Though, any word of that seems to have died a death of late.
Belfast Story is part of the City Deal package and BCC are seeking sites;

Belfast City Council on hunt for 1.5 acres for its proposed 'cultural hub'

Belfast City Council has announced it is looking for a development site of up to 1.5 acres in the city centre.

The council has instructed commercial property agents Lisney to find it a site in a 'high visibility' area with 'high footfall' close to the Cathedral Quarter. And it's also seeking to occupy the site on a long leasehold or freehold basis.

By January 20, the council wants expressions of interest including a site boundary map, a confirmation of potential legal title and an asking price for the site.
 

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Needless to say, SaveCQ have waded in... i do agree, given it's lauded art-deco status and would-be bohemian environs, that this could be re-purposed for something much more creative and imaginative than McAleer and Rushe backed hotel (especially if its a chain one) and offices etc..
Had a look on SaveCQ twitter there, its a feminist/communist/soyboy/otherkin quagmire.

Best avoided, unless you studied humanities at university.
 

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Another hotel FFS, lol! :lol:

Needless to say, SaveCQ have waded in... i do agree, given it's lauded art-deco status and would-be bohemian environs, that this could be re-purposed for something much more creative and imaginative than McAleer and Rushe backed hotel (especially if its a chain one) and offices etc..

IMG_20181107_205648 by Newcastle Pubs, on Flickr

Great building, one of my favourite in Belfast [I have a thing for art deco].

Love to see it restored, it might also move a focus a bit further north and expand the core city.
 

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Loosing the buildings on North Street I could almost accept as part of some sort of public building / Belfast Story.

But to loose the buildings to prepare them for a private mixed use site is beyond reproach.
 

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Re SaveCQ, I remember someone on Twitter posted a comment along the lines off, do you want office space for 500 high paid FinTech and Cybersecurity jobs with an average salary of 50k, or do you want space for 100 creatives with salaries less than the minimum wage. Perhaps that's not an entirely fair argument, but it's obviously really difficult to strike a fair balance between giving people the opportunity to have a well paid career, while at the same time supporting people in the creative industries who are really struggling at the moment.

Not sure what the answer is...

But we definitely need better protection of our built heritage so Evil Corps can't come in and flatten the whole city for an office block and hotel.

Perhaps with strengthened planning laws to give a minimum % of space to social housing, small business and creatives.
 
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