Insights & Research

Northern Ireland Investment Fund Provides £28m Loan for Development of JMK Group’s Hamilton Dock Hotel

The Northern Ireland Investment Fund (NIIF) managed by CBRE’s Lending team, has provided a £28 million development finance loan to JMK to facilitate the development of the Hamilton Dock Hotel site, within Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

On completion, the prominent site will comprise a 228-bed Aloft Hotel and Residence Inn Aparthotel, operated under a Marriott franchise agreement: JMK Marriot. Additionally, it is aiming to achieve a BREEAM Excellent status, with an EPC A and LEED Gold ratings.

The development is strategically located in Belfast, near the Titanic Exhibition and SSE Area, and the delivery of the asset will support tourism in the wider area – addressing a shortage of modern and sustainable stock in the Belfast hotel market.

The investment opportunity aligns with the strategic objectives of the Northern Ireland Investment Fund to enable real estate development projects that support innovation, businesses, energy efficiency, low carbon energy generation and job creation. This project will deliver an estimated 130 jobs – including 60 jobs during the construction phase and 70 full-time jobs in the operational hotel. Construction has now commenced on the hotel site.

The NIIF recently increased in size from £100m to £150m, with funding provided by the Department of Finance, and the Hamilton Dock Hotel loan marking the fund’s largest loan since its inception. 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 (NIIF) launched in 2018 there was sufficient debt liquidity and supply of new hotel developments in Belfast. The pandemic and rising interest rates have tested those conditions, and supply and debt liquidity is now more constrained.”

“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 added: “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.

“Furthermore, the asset will be one of the greenest hotels in Northern Ireland with BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and LEED ‘Gold’ credentials aligning with the group’s sustainable strategy. The financing from the Northern Ireland Investment Fund and approach by CBRE were crucial to ensuring the successful delivery of this project.”

Tughans acted as solicitors for JMK who were advised on the debt by Gordon Davidson at FJJ Consulting. A&L Goodbody were the legal representation for the Northern Ireland Investment Fund.