Lacuna Developments, Watkin Jones Group, Titanic Quarter Limited and Belfast Harbour have partnered to deliver a new urban community project, to be known as The Loft Lines, in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. It will comprise an integrated mix of around 800 new private rented, social and affordable apartment homes.
The Loft Lines name is inspired by Belfast’s loftsmen, who planned out the life-sized plate patterns of ships on the enormous black floor of the shipyard’s mould loft, which once stood on the site of the proposed scheme. The loftsmen were geometrists and had to be exacting, as their work was the basis for building the high-quality ships Belfast became known for. The Loft Lines development continues this same ethos of quality in its plan for a new way of living.
The Loft Lines will be a fully managed site, meaning that residents’ rent will include their wi-fi, gym, and other extras such as a front-of-house concierge service. The accommodation aims to deliver a level of residential amenities unseen in Belfast to date, with proposals including resident lounges, sports and recreational spaces, gyms, flexible working space, private dining spaces, games rooms, cinema rooms and children’s play areas.
The development will appeal to a diverse range of families, young professionals and older downsizers, who will have the choice of a range of housing sizes, from one, two, or three bed homes or studio apartments.
High quality social and affordable apartment homes will represent 20 per cent of the overall scheme and the developers have now selected their preferred social housing partner for the project.
The 3.8-acre site has been designed as a place for residents and visitors to enjoy, with a wide public promenade incorporated into the Maritime Mile, a pedestrian boulevard, landscaped courtyard gardens, balconies and rooftop terraces. The developers are working with Maritime Belfast to ensure The Loft Lines section of the Maritime Mile is enriched by art, nature and history.
At the heart of The Loft Lines site is South Yard Square, a 1-acre public area which is expected to have busy, active frontages, a play area and a sports park that will be used for exercise classes and outdoor events. Commercial space will be available for a coffee shop, restaurant and shops, with discussions already taking place with a number of independent retailers and hospitality operators. A creche is also planned for families who need access to childcare on site.
The developers have also committed to delivering a sustainable, low carbon development for the city. With a view to giving people a more active and environmentally friendly commute, The Loft Lines will offer several green travel measures, including ground floor bike stores with wash down and repair facilities and will aim to reduce the reliance on car-parking, with significant provision and promotion of other active travel measures.
Anthony Best, director of Lacuna Developments, said: “The Loft Lines is a flagship project for Belfast that will build a new city centre community from the ground up. We are excited to share details of our proposals for The Loft Lines, which recognise the history of this site as a place of innovation and energy but at the same time offer a precise plan for a new way of living that will bring Titanic Quarter and the city of Belfast into a brighter, greener future.
“We want it to be a site that’s shared by those who live and visit, bringing back more of the life and vibrancy that the shipyards had and complementing the other development underway in Titanic Quarter. We look forward to engaging with more people through the community consultation and hearing their views on our plans.”
Alex Pease, Chief Investment Officer of Watkin Jones, said: “This fantastic scheme reflects Belfast’s ambition, anticipating how people want to live in the city now and for decades to come. The managed homes in The Loft Lines will deliver unrivalled amenities and services for residents to enjoy, alongside stunning interior design. This will introduce a lifestyle-first model that is popular in many other successful cities across the world.”
“As well as being able to enjoy the river, people living in these new homes will join a vibrant, diverse and inclusive community with access to welcoming outside spaces, not to mention unparalleled connectivity to the city centre that encourages sustainable and healthy living.”
The partners behind the project have already spoken to more than 100 city stakeholders about the scheme ahead of the pre-application community consultation events, including representatives from business, government, higher education and community organisations.
Source: Press Release