A 10-storey hotel building comprising 131no. bedrooms. The Fitzwilliam Hotel was designed by Halliday Ramsay Architects for Graffan Developments Ltd and built by Gilbert Ash between 2007 – 2009.
Graffan Properties Ltd and Turley submitted a planning application (LA04/2016/1878/F) in August 2016 proposing to extend and reconfigure the existing Fitzwilliam Hotel to provide an additional 30no. bedrooms, new gym/spa facilities, roof garden/terrace and upgrade of the main entrance and ground level façade fronting Great Victoria Street and Grosvenor Road.
The application was approved by Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday 15th November 2016.
The site was occupied by four five-storey terrace houses between c1835 – 1905. The terrace was demolished and replaced by Bertie Crewe’s three-storey Royal Hippodrome building (1906 – 1907). The Hippodrome was acquired by The Rank Organisation in 1961 and renamed The Odeon. The original 1907 building was altered during the 1960’s with a corrugated metal cladding was attached to the facade and a flat roof installed (architect John McBride Neill). Following bomb damage in 1974 the building was sold to Belfast Cinemas Ltd and renamed the New Vic. By 1987 the building had been converted to a bingo hall and in August 1996 it was sold to Dunloe Ewart for redevelopment.
Dunloe Ewart submitted planning applications (Z/1996/2620 & Z/1996/2621) in August 1996 seeking permission to demolish the New Vic building, establish a temporary carpark and develop an office building on the site. The applications were approved in August 1996. The New Vic building was demolished in 1998.
Dunloe Ewart placed the half acre site on the market in Autumn 1999 with a guide price of £2.75m. The site sold to Donegall Place Investments Ltd in January 2000 for nearly £3.5m. Donegall Place Investments Ltd and Coogan & Co. Architects submitted four planning applications in January 2000:
- Z/2000/0226/O – 130 bedroom hotel building with basement parking.
- Z/2000/0227/F – Office building with basement parking.
- Z/2000/0229/F – Mixed used building comprising retail and apartments.
- Z/2000/0228/F – Mixed use building comprising retail, office and 53no. apartments.
No development proceeded and the site was later sold to Graffan Properties Ltd who submitted a planning application (Z/2003/2484/F) in October 2003 proposing a seven storey office building designed by RMI Architects. The application was approved in July 2004.
No development proceeded and Graffan sold part of the site to enable the Grand Opera House to extend.
Graffan Developments Ltd submitted a planning application (Z/2006/1676/F) in July 2006 proposing a 130 bedroom hotel building designed by Halliday Ramsay Architects. The application was approved in March 2007 and Graffan appointed Gilbert Ash to commence construction of the 130 bedroom Fitzwilliam Hotel in August 2007.
The Fitzwilliam Hotel opened on Friday 13 March 2009 under management of Hotel Partners. Graffan Properties retained ownership of the hotel until selling during summer 2015 to Hotel Partners.