From hotels, to stadia and to student centres, take a look at 10 new developments that could make Belfast the best city in Ireland.
As a Belfast native, I would be inclined to say it is already the best city we have to offer, with its history to learn from, its bars to drink in and its modernising city centre to socialise in.
And while all of Ireland’s major cities will be jostling for the status as the supreme city on the land, Belfast has some incredibly exciting new developments on the horizon which might just earn it the legitimate tag as Ireland’s best.
10. Grand Opera House – a symbol reformed
Already one of Belfast’s prime attractions, the theatre is currently undergoing a redevelopment due to be completed by November 2020 at a cost of £12 million, however the current pandemic has offset its restoration by around a month.
The plan includes a full refurbishment of the main auditorium and Shakespeare Room, coupled with new lighting and sound equipment and a permanent exhibition area.
Address: 2-4 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2 7HR
9. Hamilton Dock Hotel – a Titanic taster
Due to open in the summer of 2021, the new £30 million development is sure to help crown Belfast as Ireland’s best city.
The six story, 274-bed hotel will include a rooftop bar in only one of its many attractive features. Housed in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, this soon could be your spot if Titanic Belfast is on your list.
Address: Olympic Way, Queen’s Road, Belfast BT3 9EP
8. Broadcasting House – the home of BBC
The current BBC Broadcasting House situated on Ormeau Avenue in Belfast is hoping to undergo a major facelift in a new £77 million proposal.
The building’s facade will be modernised, while other proposals include a landscaped plaza and a new ‘bridge building’ that will link the BBC’s office and studio buildings together which will lead to a new public space in Linenhall Street.
Address: 25 Ormeau Avenue, Belfast, BT12 8HQ
7. Belfast Aquarium – sea life brought to land
One of the gaping holes in Belfast’s attractions may well soon be filled as proposals have been brought forward to establish a Belfast Aquarium, a new development which could certainly make Belfast the best city in Ireland.
It is hoped that the building will be completed by 2021, and will expand upon the Titanic Quarter as one of the city’s main marine attractions.
Address: Queen’s Road, Belfast BT3 9EP
6. Odyssey Quays – the stunning Sydenham
Your picturesque drive across Belfast’s M3 will get better again with plans afoot to revolutionize the area that currently sits as the Odyssey car park.
The masterplan includes 800 residential apartments, two hotels with 160 and 250 rooms respectively, a creche, a community GP, public space and a 2,700-spot car park.
Address: Queens Quay, Belfast BT3 9QQ
5. Merchant Square – a modern masterpiece
At £70 million, we are not surprised that the Merchant Square building in the heart of Belfast City Centre is one of the new developments underway that can make Belfast the best city in Ireland.
The building will act as eight-floors worth of new office space with ground floor retail and restaurant outlets. Its eye-catching glass exterior is due to be completed this year.
Address: 32-38, The Linenhall, Linenhall St, Belfast BT2 8BG
4. Casement Park – the home of Ulster GAA
The redevelopment of the iconic Casement Park stadium in West Belfast has returned to the headlines following the re-establishment of Stormont and the Executive.
The deal which restored Stormont stated plans to complete the Casement Park and it will be hard to argue with the city’s premier status when it hosts some of the GAA’s biggest games each summer.
Address: Belfast BT11 9BD
3. Queen’s Student Centre – a new development which could make Belfast the best city in Ireland
Driving by, you would have looked on at dismay as the iconic Student’s Union building which sits adjacent to the University was brought to the ground.
However, in a £30 million redevelopment, Queen’s is constructing a new, modern and glass-covered Student Centre to provide the University’s 25,000 students with a new and vibrant hub.
Address: Queen’s Students’ Union, 3 Elmwood Ave, Belfast BT9 6AZ
2. Belfast Transport Hub – where your journey begins
Undoubtedly one of the new developments underway that can make Belfast the best city in Ireland is the construction of the city’s new Transport Hub in Great Victoria Street.
The plans will totally renovate the Europa Bus Centre to the tune of £200 million with 26 bus stands and 8 railway platforms. As a city on the rise, this is one essential development.
Address: 10 Glengall St, Belfast BT12 5AH
1. Ulster University Belfast Campus Phase 2 – study in the heart of the city
The second part of Ulster University’s stunning new £250 million campus in Belfast city centre will attract students from all walks to the city.
Rising to twelve stories, students and teachers alike will have the pleasure of working from the library, basement auditoriums, offices and meetings rooms.
Address: York St, Belfast BT15 1ED
So, there you have it. Ten exciting and incredible new developments in Belfast that might soon make you think like me; that Belfast is Ireland’s best!