Choice Housing, one of Northern Ireland’s largest housing associations alongside their subsidiary Maple and May, has launched the construction of their £18 million mixed tenure development in Newry. The project team were joined at the city centre location by Clonrose Developments, who will lead the development of the site.
The former Saint Clare’s Convent and Primary School in High Street, Newry was given the green light for redevelopment in March of this year. Development of the scheme is expected to be completed by the end of 2025, and when all work has been finalised, it is set to consist of eighty-eight units in total, of which 18 will be two bed apartments for private rent managed by Choice subsidiary Maple and May and a further 70 social housing properties, managed by Choice.
Another key feature of the multi-million-pound scheme will be the bespoke community hub that will provide a range of high quality and cost-effective services to local people. Partners working with Choice and Maple and May in this project include Clonrose Developments, H&J Martin Construction, Gray Designs, a Newry-based Architects firm and Hall Black Douglas Architects.
Michael McDonnell, Choice Group Chief Executive said: “This is one of Choice Housing’s biggest and most ambitious projects in recent times and I am pleased to see the project get under way.
“Not only does this development represent a significant boost to the area economically and, at the same time, help to address the ever-growing need for social and private rentals in Newry, we also believe it is sensitive to an area that has historical significance and interest.
“In a part of Newry that’s been under-developed for some time now, when St Clare’s has been finished by contractors, Choice Housing is confident that this will be a very attractive place to live.”
Stephen Davey, Director of Clonrose Developments, added: “We are really pleased to continue our strong relationship with Choice Housing and Maple May and deliver what will be our fourth and most ambitious project to date for them.
The former St Clare’s Convent and Primary School represents a very challenging site from a development perspective, located within a conservation area and combining the sympathetic restoration of a listed Chapel and the retention of many mature trees. However, once complete, we are confident it will provide a unique setting for the 88 new homes, within walking distance of Newry City Centre.”
Choice has 741 properties in the Newry Mourne and Down area, with 448 of these designated for family housing and the remainder a mix of sheltered and supported housing respectively. The high-quality homes, care and support services Choice provide help meet the diverse needs of its customers, including pensioners, families, mature singles, and individuals with complex needs.