The Elms BT1 at College Avenue is a 12 storey managed student accommodation building comprising 747no. bedrooms and 3no. ground floor retail units. When the building opens in September 2018 it will be owned and operated by Queens University Belfast.
The building is being developed by McAleer & Rushe as part of a £70m agreement with Queens University that also includes a second student accommodation scheme; Elms BT2 at McClintock Street.
McAleer & Rushe submitted a planning application (LA04/2015/0419/F) in May 2015 proposing an 804no. bedroom managed student accommodation building with ground floor retail. Following design amendments in January 2016 the number of student rooms reduced to 775. Further design amendments in February 2016 reduced the number of rooms to 740. The application was approved in July 2016.
McAleer & Rushe commenced site works in June 2016 and Dawson-Wam began piling works in July 2016. Two tower cranes were erected on the site in September 2016 and construction of the building structure followed. Completion is scheduled for August 2018.
McAleer & Rushe submitted a planning application (LA04/2018/0831/F) in February 2018 proposing to provide 7no. additional bedrooms and minor elevational changes.
Queens University submitted a planning application (LA04/2018/1451/F) in May 2018 proposing to change part of the ground floor from retail to gym use.
The site of Elms BT1 was previously occupied by a 3 storey 19th century warehouse building until c.2002. The site was then used as a surface car park until 2016. A number of planning applications sought permission for mixed-use developments that did not commence (Z/2000/1235/F, Z/2005/0176/F, Z/2013/1063/F)