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Hhmmmmm not sure it would be the largest, we have a few large gyms in Belfast.

I was speaking to the letting agent yesterday and he was filling me in with some developments, neither the Potted Hen or PureGym has announced it publicly.
 

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They haven't published the expansion info as they have only recently submitted planning permission to convert the ground floor unit from retail to gym use, just got the letter in the post this morning from the DOE informing us.


I've no idea about how many have been sold, most are privately rented. There are also a few corporate lets as some of the people working on Games of Thrones are put up here.



They are requesting Unit 1 - http://epicdocs.planningni.gov.uk/ViewDocument.aspx?uri=840675&ext=PDF

Planning Reference is Z/2011/1444/F
 

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^^

Will they be keeping the excellent karaoke booths?!
Not sure, I'll let you know after I've attending the opening party. Though it will be called the House of Zen.

Another place has opened, Salt Bistro, was there last night and the food and service was exceptional. It's small but perfectly formed and it's opposite the Potted Hen. Pure Gym has been given planning approval for the new ground floor expansion of their gym. There's only two vacant units on the ground floor now but I have a feeling those are in the process of being acquired. I foresee the entire ground floor being occupied by the summer.
 

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Not sure, I'll let you know after I've attending the opening party. Though it will be called the House of Zen.

Another place has opened, Salt Bistro, was there last night and the food and service was exceptional. It's small but perfectly formed and it's opposite the Potted Hen. Pure Gym has been given planning approval for the new ground floor expansion of their gym. There's only two vacant units on the ground floor now but I have a feeling those are in the process of being acquired. I foresee the entire ground floor being occupied by the summer.
Glad to see both restaurant units now occupied. Did Potten Hen take over the upper floor?

The car park immediately behind the MAC on Academy Street seemed to have some sort of activity going on, anyone know what's happening?
 

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Not yet, haven't seen planning approval submitted requesting a change from office to restaurant use submitted.

As for the car park, that's not being changed but there's land in between the carpark and the MAC and that, as far as I can tell, is being hard landscaped.
 

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Walked through the square last night, along with Hill St, and it was great to see alot of activity about. It is starting to have a real buzz and continental feel about it. Well, as continental as Belfast can get.

Noticed that a vacant unit between The Potten Hen and the 4th Wall restaurants has been 'agreed'.

Anyone have any ideas about what is coming there. Another restuarant perhaps or Starbucks?

The only remainng vacant unit left is one between the House of Zen and the ground floor space of Pure Gym.

With the potential for retail element of Saint Anne's square to be fully let, and a sense of critical mass that this creates, along with the MAC, hopefully this will spur developers to push new developments within the Cathedral Quarter along. There is bound to be plenty of properties left within the area ripe for conversion and development.

I would really like to see the vacant plot between NIEA and Social 21 / Potthouse building developed as it is very much an eyesore as it is.
 

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I'm hoping to find out this week who the tenant will be. I'll let you know when I do, I think it's going to be a cafe but not sure.

The only thing the area is missing is a late opening convenience store, hopefully one appears as part of the uni development.
 

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Cathedral Quarter is deffo the most up and coming area development wise in the city atm. The Saint Anne's Sq & Mac Development and the future Royal Exchange and UU move will hopefully spur on major development in the area. It's so badly needed as well. The area bounding Cathedral Quarter the the M2 has almost the entire number of brownfield sites and shitty buildings in the city centre.
 

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I would like to think that the Library Quarter would grow organically once the UU project gets underway. I'm interested to know where the student accommodation will be located; maybe in the area around York Street/Dunbar link brownfield?
 

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Then there's the housing shortage in North Belfast to consider. It's hard to find people willing to rent a lot of the overpriced city centre flats already built, but you'll not have much trouble finding tenants for affordable housing if it was to be built in this area.

City Centre is full of affordable public housing.....you have the New Lodge, Unity or whatever it's called now, lower Shankill, Lower Falls, Short Strand, Markets and the Sandy Row is nothing but public housing!!

How much more do you want?
 

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Define affordable housing? Housing for people who want to sponge of the state and get free or subsided housing because they are too lazy to work or affordable housing for hard working people.
 

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Both the Shankill and Catholic North Belfast have a massive NIHE waiting list. The former can probably be solved by building new houses on the many vacant sites in the area. The latter hasn't got enough spare land left. Tribal boundaries mean that developing on vacant sites like the Lower Oldpark or Girdwood just isn't going to happen. You only need to look at the New Lodge, they're the only tower blocks in Belfast that house large families, though of course this was not what they were designed for. Therefore the only real solution is to either build housing on the fringes of the city centre, Sailortown, North of Dunbar Link, etc; or to build more poorly thought out sprawl.

Given how poor North Belfast it's unrealistic to expect a high proportion of new build to be private sector. And from an aesthetic point of view that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Take a look at some of the recently completed housing association schemes in Belfast that are actually pretty good. Like the health centre & flats on the Lower Shankill, or the mock Georgian houses at the McGurks bar site on North Queen Street, or the new flats on the lower Holywood Road, or the newest parts of the Torrens Estate.

As for the students, the one point I've never heard made is that it's not a given that they'll move into the area once Jordanstown closes. Hardly none of them live in BT37 now as it is, so we shouldn't assume there'll be a mass exodus from the Holy Lands in order to be closer to the university.
 

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St Anne's Square is now fully occupied retail unit wise. All the units around the piazza are now let. Coppi, an Italian place, opened about 5 weeks ago and another is opening in the coming weeks. I'm not sure what it will be, I was told the name but can't remember. Raymond McArdle, the chef behind Restaurant Victoria, has a hand in this new venture so should be good.
 
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