Plans In for First Major Phase of £650m Island Quarter Scheme, Nottingham

Main Photo: The proposed 17-storey, dual-brand IHG hotels in the Island Quarter scheme

Date: January 2021

Location: Nottingham City Centre, England, UK

Name: Dual-Brand: Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites

No. of Keys: 233, over 240 build-to-rent apartments, co-working space and an extensive food and drink area.

Seller: TBA

Developer: Conygar, the developer behind the huge Island Quarter regeneration site in Nottingham city centre, has submitted plans the first major phase of its mixed-use scheme.

The new buildings will be located next to the Canal Turn scheme, which kicked off the regeneration of the long-derelict site in late 2020.

Robert Ware, chief executive of Conygar, said: “We are delighted to be able to submit our application for this exciting next phase of the Island Quarter.”

This latest stage of the development will create up to 350 jobs during the construction phase, with a further 550 when completed and operational.

Richard Watson, of developer Conygar, said: “The Island Quarter is the biggest city centre regeneration schemes in the UK, and we believe it is vital for the development to bring something outstanding to Nottingham, for which the city and the Midlands can be proud of.

“We are fortunate to have a site in Nottingham with its great heritage and an international reputation – with developments such as this and, among other schemes, the renovation of Nottingham Castle, we want to ensure it retains its rightful place as the Queen of the Midlands and a core UK city.

IHG have been announced as the hotel operator, bringing two of their brands to Nottingham’s impressive regeneration of The Island Quarter. The 17-storey dual-branded Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites hotel will comprise 233-bedroom and suites – 155 located within Hotel Indigo and a further 68 aimed at multi-night business and leisure travellers in the Staybridge Suites,

The Hotel Indigo will offer guests design inspired by the neighbourhood story, locally sourced ingredients at the restaurant and will be the perfect spot for an enjoyable place to relax, play and work.

Inspired by ‘the neighbourhood story’ of the city, Hotel Indigo will take design cues from the local area and its bar and restaurant will offer locally sourced ingredients to customers. Meanwhile, the Staybridge Suites will feature a 24-hour fitness room, storage lockers for guests wishing to store items between stays and a communal ‘outdoor living room’ complete with firepit, grilling areas and covered seating. All the suites allow people to enjoy a flexible space to relax, play and work.

Guests in Nottingham will experience the same quality of design as in IHG’s recently opened Hotel Indigo in Bath and dual-branded Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites in Dundee, as well as the mixed-use elements of its recent IHG dual-branded Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express in Warsaw, Poland.

Karan Khanna, Managing Director, UK & Ireland at IHG commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Conygar to bring the leading global brands of Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites to Nottingham as an important part of the regeneration of the Island Quarter.

These new properties will add to IHG’s presence in the City, sitting alongside our existing Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels. As we begin 2021 these new hotel signings show the confidence that owners and investors have in IHG and our potential for continued growth for when travel can finally resume. ”Richard Watson of Conygar, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have agreed terms with the team at IHG to bring its Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites brands to Nottingham.”

The dual-branded hotel operation, which will be managed by IHG, is part of the latest stage of the Island Quarter development, which will include a further 247 residential rental apartments and an extensive food and beverage area featuring a stunning bar and busy 100-metre long forum for people to meet. There will also be 3,000 sqm of flexible serviced office space, with some 400 desks.

“It is an ambitious project – unmatched across the UK. The scheme will raise the profile of Nottingham, so we are working closely with our team of architects and designers and the city council to create a lasting legacy and community for Nottingham.”

The proposal – which also features a luxury day spa and green space for visitors – is believed to be the UK’s first cohesive-use development, incorporating multiple uses within the same flowing space, similar to Roppongi Hills in Tokyo.

Several aspects of the design have been created to meet changing needs anticipated in the aftermath of the pandemic, such as flexible spaces, relaxing community areas and green public realm.

If approved, this latest stage of the project will create hundreds of jobs in both the construction and completion phase.

David Jones, director at Axis Planning, which has coordinated all planning-related inputs on the scheme since its inception, said: “This latest phase of The Island Quarter is ground-breaking in a number of ways. The innovative blending of hotel, office and residential space and the distinctive combination of high quality internal and external environments will, I’m sure, generate significant footfall in this soon to be revitalised part of the city.

“The ground floor provides an extensive, mixed-use food and beverage-led experience incorporating restaurant, bar, forum and atrium space in a way that hasn’t been done before in the UK.

“The mix of linked buildings together with integral and adjacent open spaces provides a fluidity within the development which will be essential in a post-Covid world. We’re convinced this will create a truly unique experience for people to visit and to stay, live, work and play.

“The scheme will complement future plans for the city, such as the highly anticipated redevelopment of the Broadmarsh. Together, these developments will lead the way for the ambitious Southside regeneration.”

James Dilley, director at architect Jestico+Whiles, said: “This design truly blends with Canal Turn and its surroundings. It is about placemaking, focused on a spirit of community, conviviality and collaboration. The design we have brought forward really reflects the synergy of uses that the wider scheme will create, and we hope will create a ripple effect across the entire site and across Nottingham itself.

Lorraine Baggs, head of inward investment at Invest in Nottingham, said: “The plans submitted for 1B of The Island Quarter are truly ambitious, and just the kind of development the city needs. With the mix of uses, 1B will breathe new life into a site which has long needed regeneration, and I’m confident they will be the catalyst our city needs to help strengthen our economy.”

The overall plans for the 40-acre site will bring new homes, grade A office space, creative spaces, a hotel with PRS and co-working space, a ‘linear’ park and vibrant community and event space as well as student accommodation.

THPT Comment: Great plan for this major development of Nottingham…and we are big fans of dual-brand developments in city centre mixed-use areas such as this.

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