Dominvs Group And McAleer & Rushe Sign First In A £100m+ Series Of New Hotel Building Contracts

Preetpal Ahluwalia, Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, Dominvs Group. Eamonn Laverty, Martin Magee, McAleer & Rushe.

Dominvs Group and contractor McAleer & Rushe signed the first in a series of phased contracts, worth in excess of £100m, to build out a development programme of hotels, across the UK.

The first legal agreement signed by Dominvs was a £26m contract with McAleer & Rushe to design and build two hotels in Aberdeen close to the airport. The Holiday Inn Express boasts 193 bedrooms, whilst the 4-Star Crowne Plaza Aberdeen Airport will feature 165 bedrooms, meeting rooms and banqueting suites.

McAleer & Rushe began construction in March 2014, and the Holiday Inn Express is scheduled to open in June and the Crowne Plaza in September of 2015.

The next £25m contract to be signed in the New Year is for McAleer & Rushe a 306-bedroon four-star Holiday Inn on Aytoun Street, in Manchester, the last piling was already recently completed at the site. This will be followed by a contract with McAleer & Rushe to construct a 200-bedroom four-star hotel conversion of the Grade II-listed Tower Bridge Magistrates Court in Tooley Street, London, SE1. Further partnership projects with Dominvs Group in London and Oxford are expected to follow.

The Aberdeen contract was signed for Dominvs Group by Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, Chairman and Preetpal Ahluwalia, Hospitality Director at Dominvs Group. Chief Executive, Eamonn Laverty and Construction Managing Director, Martin Magee signed for McAleer & Rushe.

Preetpal Singh Ahluwalia who led the contract negotiations and project implementation at Dominvs Group said:

“Signing this first contract with McAleer & Rushe cements an already strong relationship built on trust and mutual professionalism. Both companies share a strong family ethos, strong management teams and a reputation for integrity. This is a long term partnership and I predict we will do a lot of work together.”

Eamonn Laverty of McAleer & Rushe added:

Dominvs-Signing-1“I think both companies have quickly gained the measure of each other, we like doing business together and have established a very strong personal rapport with each other. Dominvs Group combines experience with a dynamic business model, which is underpinned by a £300m portfolio across the commercial, hospitality and residential sectors and this is an exemplar partnership for us”.


For further information please contact: Robert Gibson at Grenadier on 0207 834 6263 / 07748 182 234

Marlin Apartments Signs £28m Contract With McAleer & Rushe To Build Apart-Hotel In Central London


Chief Executive Eamonn Laverty with Susan Cully Managing Director and John Corless Chief Executive of Marlin Apartments.

Marlin Apartments and McAleer & Rushe have signed a £28m contract, which will see McAleer & Rushe construct a 14,566.4 m2 hotel-led mixed-use development, at 111 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 for Marlin.

Marlin has appointed McAleer & Rushe on a design-and-build contract which also involves demolishing a 1950s office block known as Costain House.

The contract was signed on Wednesday by Susan Cully Managing Director and John Corless Chief Executive of Marlin Apartments and McAleer & Rushe Chief Executive Eamonn Laverty.

The elegant scheme, of Portland Stone and brick, is ideally located close to Waterloo, the City of Westminster and the South Bank. It consists of a 218-room apart-hotel, six office suites, a restaurant and adjoining retail.

“The development on Westminster Bridge Road is a very exciting proposition for Marlin Apartments as it allows us to diversify our offering to both the corporate and leisure travel markets,”

said Susan Cully, managing director, Marlin Apartments.

marlin-signing-team“By adopting the apart-hotel business model for the first time, we can offer guests a more compact offering but with the same high level of design, facilities, style, customer service and value as we already offer across Marlin Apartments’ six other sites.”

The development, which adjoins the Grade II listed Necropolis building, at 121 Westminster Bridge Road, rises from seven stories at the front to 10 at the rear.

McAleer & Rushe Construction Managing Director, Martin Magee said:

“This is a very handsome, well located scheme which we are very proud to deliver. We are very much looking forward to working in further partnerships with John and Susan on other future projects in both London and Dublin.”

For further information please contact: Robert Gibson at Grenadier on 0207 834 6263 / 07748 182 234

Holiday Inn Express & Crowne Plaza Aberdeen Airport Topped Out

Dominvs Aberdeen TO2
Raymond Young (left), Consarc, & Preetpal Ahluwalia (middle) of Dominvs Hospitality with Mark Diamond of McAleer & Rushe

Dominvs Hospitality marked a key construction milestone at its  Aberdeen Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza hotel developments, being built by McAleer & Rushe with a Topping Out ceremony.

The event which was held at the Aberdeen airport site signified that the hotels have reached their maximum height and that their structural frameworks are now complete.

Dominvs Hospitality’s professional team in attendance included McAleer and Rushe as design and build contractor, Dexter Moren & Associates as its interior designer and Urban Innovations as the architect.

Sean Brookes, Chief Operations Officer of Dominvs Hospitality said:

“This is a proud day for both the team and I at Dominvs Hospitality. It’s fantastic to be able to see the hotel rapidly nearing completion. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us in getting to this stage. Our aim is to create a leading destination by the Airport and I look forward to the launch of our hotels in June and September of 2015.”

Dominvs Aberdeen TO1The 3-Star Holiday Inn Express will feature 193 bedrooms, a meeting room and a 150-seat restaurant, whilst the 4-Star Crowne Plaza Aberdeen Airport will feature 165 bedrooms, seven meeting rooms, two banqueting suites and a 220-seat restaurant.

The 15-month construction phase began in March 2014, and the Holiday Express is scheduled to open in June and the Crowne Plaza in September of 2015.

Mark Diamond, Contracts Director at McAleer & Rushe, which is also working on a number of other projects with Dominvs, said:

“Aberdeen has one of the strongest property markets outside London, and Dominvs have secured a great location for its hotels. We have grown very close to the Dominvs team and we enjoy working on projects with them because of their clarity of vision and professionalism.

“Reaching this milestone on this construction project is a key moment to celebrate what has already been achieved, and to reflect on the long-term legacy of this important development.”

For further information please contact: Robert Gibson at Grenadier on 0207 834 6263 / 07748 182 234

Unite And McAleer & Rushe Mark Milestone In Construction Of 759 Unit Stratford Student Scheme

Peter Hornby (Right), Unite Construction Director & McAleer & Rushe Chairman, Seamus McAleer
Peter Hornby (Right), Unite Construction Director & McAleer & Rushe Chairman, Seamus McAleer

On Thursday, McAleer & Rushe marked an important milestone in the construction of a 759-unit student accommodation scheme which it is building for Unite, at Angel Lane in Stratford.

Peter HornbyUnite Construction Director, joined McAleer & Rushe Chairman, Seamus McAleer, and many members of the design and build team, for the topping out of the 8-14 storey East London scheme.

The HCD Group-designed project is very conveniently located close to Stratford Station and boasts fantastic views across London. The majority of bedrooms are provided as cluster flats of single en-suite rooms with shared kitchens, and there are also a number of self-contained studio rooms on each floor level. It also includes 900m2 of commercial space on the ground floor.

Peter Hornby said:

“I am delighted to be able to mark the progress that has been made on this challenging scheme. I have particularly appreciated the very collaborative approach adopted by McAleer & Rushe and I look forward to working together on further projects. We feel very comfortable with this excellent design and build team.”

McAleer & Rushe Business Development Director, James Hicken said:

“This project is a fantastic showcase for us and I’d like to pay tribute to everybody involved with the project. McAleer & Rushe is proud of its ethos of being a safe pair of hands and a friendly face. With each job we promise to deliver value, on time, and to a great quality standard.”

The McAleer & Rushe Project Director leading on the £30m Angel Lane contract is Dominic Trainor.

For further information please contact: Robert Gibson at Grenadier on 0207 834 6263 / 07748 182 234


McAleer in a rush as Bournemouth gets three new buildings in one job


Cookstown-based main contractor McAleer & Rushe is halfway through a two-year project for developer That Group on a sloping, challenging site in Bournemouth.

The seaside town is known for its beaches and the construction team had to remove 100,000 cu m ofsand and gravel from the site before they could begin foundations work.

The site, formerly a car park, had a level difference of about 20 m and needed to be flattened.

Upon completion in just under a year’s time, the site will house a 172-bed four-star Hilton hotel, a 120-bed Hampton by Hilton hotel and a block of apartments for private sale.

A two-storey car park will sit beneath the smaller hotel and the apartments.

McAleer & Rushe is delivering the shell and core of the apartment block for housebuilder Redrow, which bought the residential element of the scheme from That Group.

Need for speed faces material challenge

“From the start, speed of build has been a critical factor.

“It’s a very tight programme for a job of this size,”

McAleer & Rushe contracts director Mark Elliott says.

“Everything is commercially driven these days. We try to condense everything as much as possible to make it as attractive as we can for the client.”

The project started with flattening the site, using 60-tonne and 45-tonne excavators.

“The height difference meant you were double-handling in a lot of cases because you were trying to cut a face 10 m high,”

Mr Elliott says.

“You had to put shelves in. It was easy material but there was a lot of it, so it was very time-consuming.”

As the muck was taken from the site – an operation that took seven months – contiguous piles retained the high ground that remained on the boundary.

This also saw carefully positioned flying shores hold back the ground without interrupting construction of the frame once it began.

Concrete times beat steel’s

Pad foundations produced cost and speed benefits for the car park, with piles only used in localised areas where cranes would be housed. A 1,200 mm-diameter drainage pipe takes stormwater to an
attenuation tank.

“You can require 12 weeks to design and manufacture a structural steel frame; with concrete we can be on site within a week. It’s what we do.”

Mark Elliott, McAleer & Rushe

A reinforced concrete frame was used for the car park and all three blocks, as the main contractor felt it could be created quicker than a steel version.

“There is less lead-in time required,”

Mr Elliott explains.

“You can require 12 weeks to design and manufacture a structural steel frame; with concrete we can be on site within a week. It’s what we do.”

Berkshire-based Addingtons Formwork provided the labour, formwork and falsework for the 20,000 cum concrete pour.

“It’s a bit slow coming out of the basement, but after that we aim to put a floor in every two weeks,” he says.

Work on the smaller hotel and the residential tower – known as Blocks B and C respectively – got under way first, as these areas will be handed over ahead of the large hotel (Block A).

The six-floor concrete frames for B and C have been completed, with three floors of the 14-storey Block A completed by early October. Speed remains of the essence.

“We have separate teams on each block; we are building three jobs in one,” Mr Elliott says.

Perfect pour planning

With such a large concrete pour, sequencing and careful planning was paramount.

“There is a lot of design and thinking to be done,” Mr Elliott says. “We hold fortnightly design team meetings – more as deemed necessary – with our structural engineer, architects and M&E consultants.”

“We have very restrictive planning conditions: we cannot start a pour before 8am due to residential considerations and we are only allowed to continue until 6pm, but we have to finish the path loading process – we can’t leave concrete overnight.

“We have to make sure we have a small enough pour that we can complete it within those hours.” This is a difficult balance when you are racing against the clock on a huge programme. “We do
sometimes overshoot but our neighbours have been very patient,” he says.

As another time-saving measure, steel-framing systems are being used for the external walls. This approach was chosen over blockwork to reduce the risk of weather or labour-related delays.

“We are in a windy area near the coast with a high chance of cranes being off, which would mean we couldn’t lift mortar or blocks,” Mr Elliott points out. “The other issue is the labour shortage in the South-east of England.

“There is a lot of debate but, for me, steel-frame systems are more cost-effective. There is less downtime.”

P8210078Dutch subcontractor Rollecate put in the external steel frame, followed by cement particle boards, vapour barrier boards, damp-proof membranes, insulation and render or rainscreen.

Aluminium frames were being put in by Yorkshire’s HWA on Blocks B and C in October.

Internal walls will go in ahead of the roofs, with risers and other holes in the frame screened off to provide a watertight environment on a floor-by-floor basis.

Ready-made bathrooms save time

Bathrooms for the hotels arrive pre-formed (see box) in a bid to save time and improve quality.

“To build bathrooms traditionally you have your partitioning guys, then your first-fix electrician and first-fix plumber, then the partitioning guy comes back in and the plumber comes back to do the sanitaryware and shower trays,” Mr Elliott explains.

“Then the electrician comes back and stands all over the sanitaryware and shower trays.”

Separate packages have been awarded for electrics, plumbing, air conditioning (Block B) and sprinklers (Block A), with McAleer & Rushe sticking with a predominately Northern Irish team it is very familar with (see box).

“We have our trusted partners, and for a job of this nature we need to be fairly confident they can cope with the programme and they work well together,” he says. “Co-ordination of services is critical.”

Weekly technical meetings are held with all the services subcontractors to ensure works stay on track.

“Everyone has the same goal – to work quickly and effectively – and we know the client always has another job coming, so we don’t cause any grief.”

Mechanical and electrical work got under way on Block B in October and will finish on Block A next September.

As a floor is completed, internal fit-out and decoration work will take place. Hilton is buying the furniture for Block A and specifying its requirements for Block B, while Block C is a shell-and-core contract for Redrow.

Scott Brownrigg is doing the interior design for the hotels and has fortnightly meetings with the client.

“It is a high-end product and the client is clear on what it wants,” Mr Elliott says.

Up to 300 workers will be on site at the peak of the project towards the end of the programme.

McAleer & Rushe has to give Hilton six months’ notification of its date for practical completion so the hotel can begin the process of selling the rooms.

“There will be no going back then,” Mr Elliott admits.

Belfast in Bournemouth

Most of the project’s extended management team and some of its staff fly in from Belfast for intense fortnights of work.

Main contractor McAleer & Rushe, structural engineer Ian Black Consulting, architects White Ink, M&E consultants Caldwell, electrics subcontractor O’Hanlon & Farrell, plumbing firm Kane Heating and air conditioning supplier Cross Refrigeration are all based in Northern Ireland.

“There is a working culture,” Mr Elliott explains. “The guys come over here and they’re here to work, they go home every other weekend, working the Saturday in between and having the Sunday off.

The core workers are Irish, although the subcontractors do use local labour as well.

“Our guys share two-bed apartments in Bournemouth; they are nice apartments, we know they need home comforts and we want to retain our staff.”

The contractor believes the set-up creates a camaraderie and spirit on site.

“When I started at McAleer & Rushe I was taken around the W Hotel site in Leicester Square and I may as well have been in the middle of Belfast,” he recalls. “It was quite comforting.”

Time for a quick shower

Both the hotels have pre-built modular bathroom pods, created by Hull-based Walkers to Hilton specifications.

These are delivered to site and craned onto the correct floors once the temporary works are taken out for those levels of the concrete frame.

They are then pushed on scoots onto the service risers, allowing internal walls to be built around them and plumbers to come and connect them up.

There are no recesses on the 300 mm-deep concrete floors, so the pod floors have to be very thin.

The pods for the Hampton by Hilton rooms came with thin ceramic floors but bigger pods were required on Block A, meaning the contractor had to build the floors on site.

“We have to tile the floors to take away the risk of damage,” Mr Elliott says. Disabled-access bathrooms were also created on site.

Article reproduced with permission from Construction News

Knightsbridge And McAleer & Rushe Sign £100m Student Housing Contract


Knightsbridge Student Housing and McAleer & Rushe have entered into an agreement to deliver 1600 student beds, over two sites in Bournemouth and Portsmouth with an end value of over £100m.

The contract to design and build student accommodation, comprising of 1000 beds in Portsmouth and 600 beds in Bournemouth, is subject to planning and follows Knightsbridge Student Housing acquiring both sites from the Northern Irish group.

Knightsbridge Student Housing is led by Bob Crompton, who was the former CEO of student provider Victoria Hall. He has stated Knightsbridge’s intention is to rapidly build up an £1bn portfolio. It has already some 6,500 beds currently operational and almost 10,000 beds at varying stages of planning, design and construction.

The first phase of the Portsmouth scheme, on Stanhope Road, will see the former landmark office, Zurich House, converted to provide 400 student beds, with a purpose built second block housing a further 600 students.

Knightsbridge02To achieve a holistic redevelopment of the entire site, plans for approximately two thirds of the remaining site will explore a mix of development options including hotel, residential and commercial. It is also proposed to create an attractive landscaped boulevard to provide access to the adjacent verdant Victoria Park.

Student housing will make up around half of the site in Bournemouth on St Paul’s Lane, St Paul’s Road, with the remainder of the site being allocated to offices, and possibly a new hotel.

Planning submissions are targeted for early 2015 which would see construction work begin in summer 2015 with delivery of the first phase in Q3 2016 and the second phase in Q3 2017.

Simon Pollitt Knightsbridge Development and Acquisitions Director said:

“We are delighted to sign this agreement with McAleer & Rushe who we have got to know very well, and rate highly. These projects will create high quality student housing for Bournemouth and Portsmouth which are currently undersupplied markets, and will lend added momentum to our development pipeline.”

McAleer & Rushe Project Development Director Graham Mitchell said:

“McAleer and Rushe has ambitious targets for student housing construction, which is a very logical extension for us. We are delighted to be working with Knightsbridge and look forward to working together on other projects. This deal unlocks the regeneration of important sites in Bournemouth and Portsmouth, and is an important vote of confidence in the economic recovery of both cities.”

The deal is a significant milestone for McAleer & Rushe which has established a strong foothold in the student market. It is set to deliver 7,500 student beds over the next five years and is also currently under contract to deliver two schemes for UNITE plc – a 750-bed scheme for in Stratford, London and a 700-bed scheme in the North East of England.

For further information please contact: Robert Gibson at Grenadier on 0207 834 6263 / 07748  182 234

McAleer & Rushe Have Unveiled Plans For A £100m Mixed-Use Scheme In Newcastle

Newgate Grainger Image

McAleer & Rushe has submitted plans to Newcastle City Council for a £100m mixed-use scheme including a new hotel, student accommodation, offices, shops and restaurants on the site of Newgate Street shopping centre.

The current tired 60s buildings will be demolished to make way for a 250-bed hotel, with around 30,000sq ft space for retail, restaurant and leisure uses on the basement and ground floor, with office space on the first four floors.

The new prime city centre scheme, which will create up to 750 construction jobs and 550 permanent jobs comprises of two new buildings, linked by a new ‘chare’ – a narrow medieval street or alley in the local dialect.

The development will also include the refurbishment of the Grade II listed, number 67 Clayton Street, which will form the entrance to the proposed office element of the scheme. The proposed NCL'14-32_HDR705-bed student accommodation complex is on the Grainger Street side of the development site.

The Newcastle office of Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP) is advising on planning. Ian Kettlewell, associate director at NLP, said:

“This new development will revitalise this area of the city centre. The design by a local architect has been finessed in close co-operation with the council planning officers and local stakeholders. It reflects the vitality of Newcastle but is respects the much loved heritage of Grainger Town. It includes the restoration of 67 Clayton Street, which in turn has the potential to encourage the restoration of other properties on Clayton Street.”

McAleer and Rushe acquired the site in in 2006 and secured a similar planning permission in 2011 for the redevelopment of the site to include three hotels, offices, retail and leisure units.

The new application is an evolution which reflects the latest requirements of potential occupiers. Subject to planning demolition of the Newgate Centre could begin before the end of the year.

McAleer & Rushe To Build Second Hub By Premier Inn

Endurance Land has appointed McAleer & Rushe to build a 189-bedroom ‘hub By Premier Inn’ hotel on Brick Lane, E1 in London’s Spitalfields. The site is in the Fournier Street and Brick Lane Conservation Area where there are many listed Georgian buildings including the Grade 1 listed Spitalfields Church. The new hotel has been designed to sit well in this environment and it continues the careful renaissance of the locality

Endurance Land a specialist in driving value through the active management of assets, that require refurbishment or development, is currently developing over 800 hotel rooms in London.

This is the second ‘hub By Premier Inn’ hotel that McAleer & Rushe is currently working on. In September it began work on Whitbread Group’s first of the new concept a 163-bedroom hotel on St Martin’s Lane, WC2 via the conversion of an existing office building.

Whitbread, the UK’s largest hotel group, launched the new concept in July. Its ‘hub By Premier Inn’ is a new generation of compact, city centre hotels with ingenious, contemporary room design and excellent connectivity that appeals to customers who value price, location and design over space.

At 11.4 sq.m a ‘hub’ room is compact, and thanks to its innovative design every centimetre is optimised with a desk that folds into the Hypnos pocket-sprung bed, luggage storage under the bed, an en suite bathroom with power shower, free wifi and a 40” inch smart screen TV.

hub By Premier Inn’ will be the UK’s first hotel with its own app, letting customers control their hotel experience. The ‘hub’ app means customers can book and check in online, as well as pre-select their room temperature and light settings. They can even choose which TV or radio channel they want playing in their room when they arrive and stream content from their phone or tablet direct to their TV.

The Endurance Land hotel scheme designed by EPR architects involves the demolition of an existing supermarket and the construction of a 189-bedroom hotel with ground floor retail.

McAleer & Rushe is also currently working for Endurance Land building a 291-bedroom, 17-storeys Motel One at 24-26 Minories, EC3 where archaeologists discovered a 1,900-year-old Roman eagle sculpture.

For more information please contact: Robert Gibson at MJ2 on 07748 182234

McAleer & Rushe Hires Former Sisk Director Jerry Browne

McAleer & Rushe which has enjoyed strong growth in its order book, has indicated its determination to drive the business on by boosting its business development capabilities with a seasoned addition from a competitor.

jbrowneJerry Browne will be joining McAleer & Rushe’s new business team under Business Development Director James Hicken, and will be targeting opportunities in the hotel, office and residential sectors as a business development manager.

The highly regarded Browne was with Sisk for 26 years until 2012, and led its hotel construction sales and marketing. He is a popular figure in the industry and is known as a keen golfer and London Irish Rugby supporter.

Browne said:

“This is a great opportunity and I am thrilled to be able to offer my experience and connections to McAleer & Rushe. I know the company well, and have admired its prowess and watched as it has broadened its penetration of the UK market. I look forward to contributing to its continued success.”

Hicken added:

“Jerry and I have been acquainted for some time as sparring rivals, and I’m delighted that we can now combine our talents to drive forward the growth of the business. I’m sure he will make an invaluable contribution to the group and help to open new doors.”

McAleer & Rushe is currently working on 15 major projects across the UK, from Aberdeen to Bournemouth.

McAleer & Rushe Appointed On DOMINVS Manchester Project Which Gains Planning Consent

Dominvs Hospitality has been granted planning permission by Manchester City Council for a 306-bed hotel on Aytoun Street in Manchester City Centre.

The hotel will be developed on the derelict employment exchange in Piccadilly, between Aytoun Street and the Rochdale Canal, adjacent to the Malmaison Hotel and opposite the Hilton DoubleTree.

Dominvs Hotel MainThe site is situated within close proximity of the Manchester Piccadilly rail station and is one of the city council’s longest-standing priority sites still remaining to be developed.

McAleer & Rushe has been nominated as Main Contractor on the 165,000 sq. ft. new scheme which has been designed by Urban Innovations. The new hotel will offer four-star accommodation over eight storeys including a ground floor comprising a bar, restaurants, gym and extensive conference and banqueting facilities.

Preet Ahluwalia, Director of Dominvs Hospitality said.

“We are very much looking forward to working with our design and build team to create a stylish new hotel for Manchester on this site which occupies a prime position and complements the highly successful 250,000 sq. ft. mixed-use Piccadilly Regeneration Project”

Martin Magee McAleer & Rushe Construction Director said:

“This site which was vacant for nearly 20 years and was in desperate need of regeneration. Work will begin on-site imminently as there already has been a lot of detailed early-stage design input which will ensure best practice and best value construction, which leads to optimum efficiency in operation thereafter.”

The Manchester project will expand Dominvs Hospitality’s future room count in excess of 1200 rooms for its operational hotels and proposed developments.

For more information please contact: Robert Gibson at MJ2 on 07748 182234