7th February 2023
Plans have been submitted to Belfast City Council for a boutique hotel at 34-44 Bedford Street and 4-6 Clarence Street.
The proposal outlines plans to develop a luxurious hospitality scheme under renowned hotel brand, The Dean, operated by Press Up Hospitality Group, comprising of 91 bedrooms, Sophie’s Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace, and a 3 x 13m rooftop pool – a first for the Group’s portfolio of urban hotels.
The applicant is named as Bedford Way Limited (controlled by Oakmount, sister company to Press Up Group).
TODD architects has been appointed to transform the Ulster Hall-adjacent site on Bedford Street, originally built circa 1865 and historically classed as the beginning of the Linen Quarter, which had the world-famous nickname of ‘Linenopolis’.
Jessica Carlyle-Clarke, Head of Business Development & New Opportunities UK, said, ‘We are delighted to move forward with plans to bring The Dean to Belfast – a capital city that is as vibrant and fresh as the brand itself. We are all about celebrating iconic cities, creating beautiful spaces within them that complement old and new. This site is one of cultural significance, right next to the Ulster Hall, a venue that speaks to Belfast’s built heritage. This is an exciting time for the Group as it looks to develop its footprint across the UK and Ireland.”
Bedford Way Limited was advised by local firm, Finch in scoping out potential sites in the city centre.
The three-storey 19th century building has been home to many notable businesses over the years including Larry’s Piano Bar, Deanes Deli and currently houses the popular Harlem Café. While planning permission is being sought, the building’s current owners will continue to accommodate existing tenants for as long as possible.
Neil McShane, of property consultants INPRIO, represents the current owners and commented on the proposals: “The owners have been custodians of this family jewel for many years but recognise that they need to pass the baton to a developer in order to preserve the building and realise its full potential. The future of this unique building is extremely important to them and whilst there have been numerous approaches over the years, for various uses, they believe the plans for a boutique hotel is the best way to fulfil their determination to rejuvenate the existing building.”
The Dean, with locations in Dublin, Cork and Galway, is one of Ireland’s leading boutique, design-led hotels. Having opened in Dublin in November 2014 as part of a terrace of protected Georgian townhouses, The Dean introduced a new concept in accommodation to Ireland which is fresh, vibrant, youthful, and creative. Since then, it has long been one of the country’s top places to stay. Each Dean location has a number of unique features including Sophie’s Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace, luxury POWER Gym, and an art collection which is curated to celebrate local artists.
In August 2022, Press Up Hospitality Group was granted planning permission for The Dean, Birmingham, the first location for the brand outside of Ireland.
Press Up Hospitality Group is part of McKillen Corporation. McKillen Corporation is directed by Patrick McKillen Junior, and encompasses a number of high-end leisure and hospitality businesses across Ireland, the UK and internationally, as well as companies that specialise in property development and fit out.