Tough tenant puts the brakes on £13m Belfast boutique hotel project

Work on a new £13m boutique hotel in Belfast has been halted as the current tenants of the building on Bedford Street won’t be moving out until December.

The transformation of the Scottish Mutual building into a new 80-bed boutique hotel started in September last year with the opening date scheduled for this autumn.

Now work has stalled as tenants Nationwide, situated on the ground floor, are not due to move out of the building until early December.

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The bank chain was originally meant to relocate this summer and work cannot begin on the basement until the company moves out.

The hotel, due to be named The Linenhall, is the brainchild of the Ballymena-based Hill family, who bought the building in 2013 after it went on the market for £2m and also own the Galgorm Resort and Spa.

The new property will be home to 80 bedrooms, two bars, a restaurant and banquet hall.

Once Nationwide leaves, work is expected to begin in January.

Speaking about the development, Adrian Lambe of architects Douglas Wallace, told the Belfast Telegraph last year that the developers are “leaving as much in as possible” of the listed building’s original fixtures and fittings.

“There are original tiles and art nouveau details, and we will leave as much as we can. That makes it interesting,” he said.

And while still in the design process at that stage, Mr Lambe said it would be based on other popular ’boutique’ hotels in cities such as New York and London.



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