The new hotel will have between 150 and 200 bedrooms and could be up to 26,850sq.m in size. Planning permission for the new development was granted in July.
The hotel will be developed and owned by Belfast Harbour and companies wishing to express interest in taking on its day-to-day operations should contact the group by 3 October.
Belfast Harbour’s property director Graeme Johnston described the new development as an ‘exciting opportunity’ which would complement plans to build office blocks, residential areas and retail space in the same location.
“Demand for hotel space in Belfast is strong and improving and if a suitable operator is identified there is the potential for the new hotel to be open and ready for business by 2017,” said Johnston.
Investment in tourism
The search for a hotel operator has been welcomed by those who see the development as the next step towards the regeneration of the city’s waterfront.
Department for Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy said: “Not only will the hotel provide a welcome boost to the local - and indeed regional - economy in terms of creating employment, it will also help satisfy Belfast’s fast growing demand for top class hotel and conference facilities.”
VisitBelfast’s chief executive Gerry Lennon said he was pleased with the news as further investment in hotels could help to accommodate Belfast’s growing tourism industry.
“We welcome the news of the proposed hotel within the City Quays waterfront development,” he said.
“The last decade of tourism investment and dedicated marketing has seen the industry grow fourfold, with the city now welcoming over 2.2m overnight visitors to Belfast a year.
“With world-class attractions such as Titanic Belfast, conference centres such as the Waterfront Hall, and headline acts choosing to host their events in Belfast, it is important we see further investment in the commercial accommodation sector to meet the growing demand for hotel rooms.”