The UK’s largest cinema operator, Cineworld, and the UK’s largest bowl operator, Hollywood Bowl, are the first anchor tenants to confirm their position in The Odyssey, Belfast, as work gets started on a major new £17m redevelopment that’s set to transform the venue.
Matagorda 2, working alongside The Odyssey Trust Company, will begin construction work at the end of this month. Work is scheduled to last for 17 months, with an anticipated completion date in late spring 2021.
The construction contract has been awarded to Ballymena firm, Martin & Hamilton and more than 80 construction jobs will be created during the project. The work will be project managed by real estate consultants, Hollis.
To facilitate the redevelopment, The Odyssey will partially close in early January next year once the site set-up works are completed. The cinema, bowling alley and W5 will remain open with new temporary access points being provided. The SSE Arena will be unaffected by the redevelopment works.
The existing mezzanine level in The Odyssey is to be removed and rebuilt to accommodate new restaurants and bars. The redevelopment will also enhance the Arena visitor experience with the main entrance to the SSE Arena, Belfast coming through The Odyssey in the future.
The bowling centre will close late in 2020 to allow for a 20-lane refit and it will return with a new operator. The cinema will undergo a rolling fit-out with minimal disruption to visitors. W5’s previously announced investment will also take place at the same time as the main works on The Odyssey, with the reveal of the W5 redevelopment happening in June next year.
Guy Hollis, consultant for Matagorda 2, said recently that a new mix of hospitality, entertainment and leisure attractions will be introduced to the Odyssey:
‘We will soon be in a position to reveal new lettings which will raise the bar on the standard of offering currently in the complex,’ he promised. ‘In advance of our redevelopment project, we have already secured the UK’s largest cinema operator, Cineworld, and the UK’s largest bowl operator, Hollywood Bowl. JLL London and Lisney are actively marketing the units at the moment and we anticipate a high level of interest from well-known names.”
Eric Porter, chair of The Odyssey Trust Company, added:
‘We welcome Matagorda 2’s fantastic investment in The Odyssey and we look forward to seeing this family-focused offering coming to fruition in the next 18 months. We know that this site is important to the people of Belfast and Northern Ireland and it has been through the effective stewardship by The Odyssey Trust Company that we have been able to attract this significant investment to the site. ‘