The Northern Ireland Investment Fund (NIIF) has provided a £28m (€32.7m) loan to JMK to help develop a hotel in Belfast.

NIIF, managed by CBRE’s lending team, has provided the development finance for JMK’s Hamilton Dock Hotel, a site within Belfast’s Titanic Quarter expected to be transformed into a 228-bed Aloft Hotel and Residence Inn Aparthotel, operated under the Marriott brand.

NIIF, backed by the Northern Ireland Department of Finance, provides debt funding for commercial property, regeneration and low carbon projects in Northern Ireland.

The Hamilton Dock Hotel loan marks NIIF’s largest loan since its inception in 2018. In addition, the recent completion of this loan and others has now taken the fund to £150m invested since inception.

Herbin Duffield, director at CBRE said when the Northern Ireland Investment Fund launched in 2018 there was sufficient debt liquidity and supply of new hotel developments in Belfast, adding that the pandemic and rising interest rates have ”tested those conditions, and supply and debt liquidity is now more constrained”.

Duffield added: ”NIIF is addressing market failure and providing debt funding that will create jobs in a key regeneration area in the city’s Titanic Quarter by delivering a hotel with strong environmental and sustainability credentials. 

“Having explored a range of funding options and solutions for this site, we are delighted to have committed a loan facility to finance the delivery of this project.”

Zain Kajani, director at JMK, said: “We are pleased to have the funding in place and break ground at the JMK group’s first hotel in Northern Ireland, adding further depth to our hotel portfolio in the UK and Republic of Ireland, and aligning with our expansion strategy and forward-thinking approach to drive sustainability.

“The hotel/aparthotel will be branded Aloft & Residence Inn by Marriott. The combination of the international brand and the asset being in a prime location in front of the Titanic Museum, which is Belfast’s number one tourist attraction, will ensure the hotel & aparthotel have a bright future ahead.”

Kajani added that the asset will be one of the greenest hotels in Northern Ireland with BREEAM Excellent and LEED Gold credentials.

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