15 May 2024

Minister for Communities, Gordon Lyons MLA viewed the first fully mixed tenure apartment scheme in Northern Ireland, located at the current King’s Hall site in Belfast. The new development is due to be handed over on 5th June 2024.

The £14m project managed by Choice and our subsidiary Maple and May incorporates affordable social housing and private rental units all designed to be part of one integrated scheme with shared communal areas, parking and access. 

During the visit, the Minister viewed the newly built apartments, alongside the wider shared and communal areas that make up this innovative development.

Minister Lyons said: “As Minister, I am pleased to visit this pioneering project as it nears completion. I have said that we need to be innovative as we seek to address the housing need in our society. In providing high-quality accommodation across a range of tenures – both social housing and private rentals – this scheme is an example of progressive thinking in action.  I hope it will have a positive impact on the people who live here, and also the wider community in this area.

“Projects of this nature are the result of a tremendous amount of work, involving individuals, organisations, communities and government at various levels. I commend Choice Housing, and indeed all those involved, and wish the incoming residents every happiness in their new homes.”

This new housing development forms part of a wider £100m regeneration project, being led by Benmore Octopus which will also include medical and life sciences accommodation, a multi-storey car park, a central plaza, a creche and retail/café/restaurant and leisure facilities.

With 81 new apartments in total, the mixed tenure development offers 45 1- and 2-bedroom social apartments for over 55s alongside a further 36 apartments for private rent, which will be leased via Maple and May.

Choice Group Chief Executive, Michael McDonnell said,

“We are pleased to welcome Minister Lyons to view this ground-breaking development. Mixed tenure is a strategic priority for Choice and our subsidiary Maple and May, with the focus on offering a range of living options whilst facilitating the opportunity to foster greater social, economic and community cohesion.

“Mixed tenure developments that are adaptable and built within the context of a specific area has the potential of delivering more viable housing options across Northern Ireland. To achieve this, we need a collaborative approach with partners and statutory agencies all working together.

“This new scheme forms part of an exciting and innovative initiative aimed at enhancing this iconic site and the wider surrounding area. The Choice Group is excited to see the wider project progress and we are keen to play a truly regenerative role.”

H&J Martin Construction partnered with Choice and Maple and May in delivering the development of the mixed tenure scheme. H&J Martin has a long history of working with and developing some of the most iconic sites across Northern Ireland and this project will prove to be a world class development when complete.

The social housing apartments have been constructed to Lifetime Homes standards with all apartments benefitting from Secured by Design ‘Gold’ accreditation.  The development is also served by private parking, internal and external amenity space and a concierge service.