Dublin’s Central Hotel Acquired by Deutsche Finance

Main Photo: Central Hotel Dublin

Date: July 2019

Location: Exchequer Street, Dublin, Ireland

Name: Central Hotel

No. of Keys: 70, with planning consent to grow to 112

Seller: The Central was owned by the Gerry Conlon-led Bridlewood Family Trust and was originally designed by Richard Millar and William Symens, who were responsible for the architecture in the former House of Parliament on College Green, now owned and occupied by the Bank of Ireland.

Buyer: London-based Deutsche Finance joint venture with BCP Capital. The deal included the nearby Trinity Street car park, as well as the 130-year old hotel.

This is DFI’s first major investment in the Republic and follows the recent close of its inaugural fund, DFI European Value-Add Fund, with €436 million of equity, including co-investment.

The new owners are planning a major refurbishment of the venue to add rooms and improve its food and beverage offering.

The hotel has secured Bord Pleanála approval for a considerable number of structural modifications and, most importantly, an increase in the number of bedrooms from 70 to 112. New owners will also be allowed to enlarge the Library bar on the first floor, create a central courtyard, and install a basement restaurant. Windward Management has been brought in as the hotel operator.

Trinity Street Car Park, which is walking distance from the Central Hotel, comprises 171 car-parking spaces with ancillary retail and office use over five floors. The joint venture plans to enhance the asset’s income by pursuing alternative uses within the property.

“These are our first investments for the Fund in Ireland, allowing us to create value in prime locations and benefit from highly supportive structural trends, including an under-supplied commercial real-estate market; strong GDP growth; and high levels of foreign direct investment,” DFI director Paul Nearchou said.

“Against this backdrop we feel confident in our ability, and that of our partners BCP Capital, to maximise the inherent value in these two prime central Dublin assets,” he added.

Nick Cullen, chief executive at BCP Capital, said: “ By leveraging our expertise of the Dublin market, along with DFI’s experience in operational real estate, these initial investments are expected to deliver significant returns through an active asset management programme.”

Price: Undisclosed….agent Cushman & Wakefield had placed a price tag of about €40 million on the hotel when placing it on the market late last year.

THPT Comment: Even with only 70 bedrooms and a three-star grading, the Central reported a profit of €1.7 million in the past year and had additional revenues of €660,000 from five retail outlets on the ground floor.

First Seen: Irish Times

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