Ewart Plans North East City Centre Regeneration

A retail-led regeneration project was announced by the Department of Social Development in March 2006 and a Heads of Terms agreement was signed with Leaside Investments to develop the North East Quarter, an 12 acre site in Belfast city centre, as a mixed-use project called Royal Exchange. Leaside Investments was a consortium led by Ewart Properties who had been acquiring property in the area for 20 years.

The proposal led to some fierce opposition from resident groups in Cathedral Quarter, most notably the plans for a large car park and essentially a wall between the development and the Quarter along Donegall Street.

The developers worked with the campaigners, the Let’s Get it Right Campaign and reached considerable agreement. The planning application was approved in 2012 but the development collapsed from the effects of the property crash. Leaside Investments was finally dissolved in September 2017.

Ulster Bank’s loan on the development was bought by Cerberus, which sold the site to Castlebrooke Investments, in an off-market deal in January 2016.

cathedral quarter