Location: Crumlin Road and Waring Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
Name: The Lanyon and Waring Hotels
No. of Keys: 55 and 37
The Properties: Situated in Belfast, the two hotels were acquired by Signature Living in recent years. Lawrence Kenwright, owner of Signature Living secured planning permission to convert The Lanyon from the old Grade B listed Crumlin Road Courthouse in 2018. The property, together with the Crumlin Road Jail were infamous during “The Troubles” between the UK government and the IRA and others during the 1970s and 80s.
The property also has permissions in place for a 142-cover restaurant, 300-capacity function suite, rooftop bar and terrace and swimming pool. It was originally slated to have opened this summer (2019).
Signature Living has also put the 1950s Waring Street War Memorial building up for sale. The property also has planning permission for a 37-bedroom hotel with restaurant, bar and rooftop terrace. The company originally said the hotel was on course to open in 2018, and then in May 2019 announced it was set to open by the end of this year.
The sales will leave Signature Living with three hotels open and operational: the Arthouse and Signature hotels in Liverpool, and the Exchange hotel in Cardiff. The group is also understood to be opening two hotels this year: the Dixie Dean and Cavern Walks in Liverpool.
The first phase of the Dixie Dean, its No 9 bar and restaurant, is already open, and Cavern Walks received planning permission in June.
Work on the Scottish Mutual Building, at Donegall Square Belfast had started to be turned into The George Best Hotel. There has been seen significant work done on the property, although it has faced delays and an opening date has long been uncertain. In June employees at the delayed hotel in Belfast were offered relocation to England or Wales, or redundancy.
Main Photo: The outside of the Crumlin Road Courthouse
Brand/Management: Flag and management free
Current Owner: Signature Living
Guide Price: TBA
Agent: Colliers, we believe
Date Posted: September 2019
THPT Comment: Lawrence Kenwright once seemed like the Alan Sugar of the hotel industry in his home city of Liverpool and then Belfast. Buying great, iconic buildings and turning them into flash, “interesting” hotels, flouting conventional hotel ways, actively going for the hen and stag party business and seemed to everybody’s darling.
He was also very much into the securing funding from the public “buying a room” or investing in his hotel empire.
With four hotels actively for sale and the fifth faltered from opening, the empire is not looking so rosy now. He has cited planning delays as the cause, but we’re not so sure. Lawrence – wish to comment?
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