Posted on Monday 1 October 2018 by John Mulgrew

Donegall Square East

A top Northern Ireland businessman is planning on revamping a major city centre building into an office and retail development, Ulster Business can reveal.

A company linked to Newry man Brian McConville, who runs the successful MJM Group, has submitted plans for the extension and refurbishment of 18 – 19 Donegall Square East.

The works include a new extension, with plans for commercial use at the basement, ground floor and four floors, and office accommodation on the first to third, fifth and sixth.

A design statement from architects Hamilton says the design intention is “to remove any unsympathetic additions and alterations within the listed buildings, retain the original plan form of the buildings, and conserve all extant historic features”.

That includes ornate cornices, ceiling roses and moulded timbers “all of which survive in relatively good condition throughout the building”.

The design document says the “new work within the historic structure will follow conservation principles of maximum retention of historic fabric, minimum intervention, reversibility, honest, clarity and sustainability”.

Brian McConville’s MJM Group is one of Northern Ireland’s fastest growing companies.

MJM Marine is MJM Group’s main business, based in Newry, and headed by founder Brian McConville.

It was set up in 1983 by Mr McConville, and carries out work for many of the world’s top cruise liners, including Star Cruises.

The fit-out specialist is seldom out of the headlines, whether it’s landed new contracts or winning awards.

The company has diversified and grown in influence, with Mr McConville one of just two Northern Ireland business leaders joining Prime Minister Theresa May on an international trade mission to China.

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