McAleer & Rushe plan Belfast student schemes

McAleer & Rushe has unveiled plans for two major student housing schemes delivering 1280 rooms in central Belfast.

Planning applications have been submitted to develop an 804-room scheme in a 240,000 sq ft building on College Avenue, and a 476-room scheme in a 135,000 sq ft building on McClintock Street. The latter is on the site of the former 10-storey Belfast Metropolitan College building, which is set to be demolished to make way for the new scheme.

Construction of student accommodation developments has become a key market for McAleer & Rushe. Across the UK it is on target to deliver more than 7,000 student rooms by the summer of 2018, with an estimated value in excess of £400m. The company is currently on site building a 759-room scheme for Unite in Stratford, east London which is due to complete this summer, together with a 356-room scheme for Knightsbridge Student Housing in Southampton, which is due to complete in 2016.

McAleer & Rushe property director Stephen Surphlis said: “These are large scale development and investment projects which underpin our confidence in Belfast and particularly the student accommodation sector where we already have a significant presence.  The development of 1280 rooms in the city centre will help to address the current shortage of purpose built student accommodation which is significantly below the UK average.  We are planning to commence construction this autumn with the developments being completed for the in-take of students in summer 2017”.

The McClintock Street scheme, on the site of the former Belfast Metropolitan College building, forms part of a mixed use scheme that will also include a 206-bedroom 4-star hotel.

Both student housing developments and the hotel, which have been designed by Belfast-based Consarc Design Group, will create in excess of 300 jobs during the building phase.

Last week McAleer & Rushe also announced it had signed a £24.7m deal with Belfast City Council to develop a new 100,000 sq ft office building at the site of Clarendon House on Adelaide Street.