Belfast developer William Ewart Properties has reached an agreement with the Northern Irish Government to redevelop the northeast quarter of Belfast city centre.
Ewarts and a consortium comprising ING Real Estate and Snoddons Construction agreed heads of terms today with the Department for Social Development for its Royal Exchange mixed-use scheme.
The £300m scheme comprises around 800,000 sq ft of mixed-use space including 420,000 sq ft of retail, to include a department store, two further anchor stores and restaurants, a hotel, leisure space and a 700 space car park.
Subject to final conditions and agreement, the agreement will lead to the adoption of a statutory development scheme and if needed, the use of the department’s compulsory purchase powers for the comprehensive regeneration of a major part of Belfast city centre.
Nick Reid, Ewart chief executive, said: ‘Today's announcement marks an important step forward in the ongoing regeneration of Belfast City Centre. Royal Exchange aims to deliver a distinctive, aspirational retail offer of top quality international brands not currently represented in the City. This will provide Belfast with the European quality retail offer it deserves.’
Andrew Eldridge, development director at ING Real Estate, said: ‘Belfast is a rising European regional capital and we believe strongly in its potential. Our aim is to deliver a high quality scheme to attract major new retail names which are complementary to the existing retail offer in Belfast.
The next stages in the development process include the signing of the final development agreement and the submission of a planning application. The scheme is due to open in 2013.