The Signature Living Group has acquired the Scottish Mutual building in Belfast and plans to invest £15m on transforming the property into a hotel.
The building was sold for an undisclosed sum by the Hill family - owners of the Galgorm Resort & Spa in Ballymena - who bought the property in 2013 for £2m.
Designed by Henry Seaver, the building was completed in 1904. It marks Signature Living's second acquisition in Belfast following the purchase of the Crumlin Road Courthouse announced last month.
The Liverpool-based company has previously announced its intention to open a George Best-themed hotel, as well as develop as many as three additional hotels, in the city. It has not been confirmed if the Scottish Mutual building will be the George Best-themed hotel.
Lawrence Kenwright, founder of the company, said his focus would be on preserving the heritage of the building's architecture to create a luxury boutique hotel.
He said: "The building is currently in a state of disrepair and we will be focusing on sympathetically restoring this stunning, Scottish baronial style landmark building back to its former glory and architectural beauty, as well as aligning it with Signature Living's exciting style and guest experience.
"By committing £15m to the project, we see this as an investment in Belfast and Northern Ireland's flourishing tourism industry. We want to bring new hotel experiences to the city for international tourists, as well as domestic and business tourists."
Signature Living is the developer and operator behind Liverpool's Shankly hotel and Cardiff's Exchange hotel, which opens its first 40 rooms as part of a phased opening this week.
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