Choice Housing announce £16m investment in East Belfast

Plans for 90 new homes on the former Park Avenue Hotel site

By Claire Cartmill
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 11:00 am

Choice Housing, one of Northern Ireland’s largest housing associations is to deliver new homes on the former Park Avenue Hotel site in East Belfast.

The new mixed tenure residential development will comprise of 90 units in total, with 63 of these for social housing use and the other 27 units for private rent. The project is expected to be completed by Spring 2024.

The residential development will enhance the local area and includes communal gardens, car parking, soft landscaping and a tenant and staff hub.

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Michael McDonnell, Choice Group chief executive, Mark Gilmore, EHA construction director, Mairead Burns, Choice development officer and Paul Murtagh, Choice head of development

Choice Group chief executive, Michael McDonnell. said: “We recognise the historic importance of this site, and our considered plans will enhance the existing streetscape, create a high-quality development and complement the local built environment.

“There has been significant investment in the Belfast City Council area with 15 developments completed in the last three years, an investment of over £66m. This latest investment of £16m further demonstrates our commitment to addressing the growing need for quality affordable housing in the Belfast area.”

The 90 new homes will include a range of two and three-bedroom houses and two-bedroom apartments providing a mix of social and private tenures. Choice subsidiary, Maple and May, will manage 27 of the two-bedroom apartments as private rental units.

The project Developer, Lacuna Developments alongside contractor EHA Group and RPP Architects worked with Choice to develop a project that addresses the demand for affordable homes in East Belfast whilst designing a build project that ultimately enhanced the surrounding area.

Michael continued: “The demand for affordable housing across Northern Ireland is growing, whether this is social or affordable rental/purchase options. We, at Choice will continue to demonstrate the wide-ranging benefits of mixed tenure developments which can foster greater social and economic benefits facilitating and supporting thriving sustainable communities.”

The immediate area is predominantly residential in character but does include a range of commercial and leisure developments in close proximity. Community consultation on the project was completed in December 2021. The site is also located on a main arterial route into Belfast City Centre and is adjacent to the Belmont/Strandtown local centre which provides a wide range of amenities. The site’s position affords, safe, convenient, and attractive walking routes to local amenities and local retail, including Connswater shopping centre.

Mark Gilmore, construction director from EHA Group, added: “We are committed to working with the social housing sector to build quality, affordable homes in the areas most at need. Mixed tenure developments are the future and working alongside Choice and partners we developed a project that offered the best in sustainable housing while paying close attention to its surrounding area”.