€40m sought for two profitable Dublin hotels

Well-located Clarion hotels at IFSC and airport offered at significant discounts

The Clarion Hotel at the IFSC in Dublin is on the market for €30 million

The Clarion Hotel at the IFSC in Dublin is on the market for €30 million

 

Two highly profitable Dublin-based Clarion Hotels, one in the International Financial Services Centre and the other at Dublin Airport, are to be offered for sale at significant discounts in a further move to recover “distressed” loans advanced by the then Anglo Irish Bank during the property boom.

Tom Barrett of Savills is quoting €30 million for the 247-bedroom hotel in the IFSC and €10 million for the 165-bedroom hotel at the entrance to Dublin Airport after being appointed sales agent by receiver Kieran Wallace of KPMG.

The four-star city hotel is likely to be bought by an overseas hotel group anxious to avail of the collapse in real estate values to acquire a flagship property in Dublin.

Dublin Airport Authority is expected to make every effort to buy back the original hotel at the airport, which is leased on a long-term basis and is now required to facilitate the rollout of a 70-acre business park in the grounds of the airport.

Both hotels going for sale are currently managed by Choice Hotels Ireland as part of an agreement that can be set aside under new ownerships.

Property developer Paddy Kelly, the McCormack company Alanis and Pearse Construction are believed to have borrowed in the region of €40 million in 2001 to develop and fit out the IFSC hotel which overlooks the river Liffey and draws much of its support from the financial district as well as from the Convention Centre, O2 Arena, Bord Gáis Theatre and the Aviva Stadium, all of which are close by.

The hotel also has a full-scale fitness centre with about 1,000 members and 10 conference rooms with the largest of them big enough to cater for up to 150 people.

With average room rates in excess of €100 per night and occupancy levels generally in the low 80 per cent in 2012, those likely to pitch for the hotel will not be surprised to find that it made profits, after the deduction of management fees, of more than €2 million.


Ground rent
Other hotels in the docklands area are Jurys Inn with 250 bedrooms, Gibson (250), Marker (187) and the Maldron (304).

Paddy Kelly and Alanis were also the main shareholders in the Clarion at Dublin Airport which was acquired on a long lease in 2005 for €33.5 million and subsequently enlarged and upgraded.

Even with average room rates in the mid €60 per night range, the four-star hotel managed to make profits of about €1.5 million last year.

The hotel was the first to have been developed at the airport, opening in the early 1970s and trading under the Forte banner. It relied heavily in the early years for support from executives and staff based at the nearby Aer Lingus headquarters.

The current owners paid the key money for the hotel under a long lease from the Dublin Airport Authority which has another 55 years to run. The lease also provides for the payment of a ground rent and a percentage of the turnover which works out at less than €250,000 per annum.

Although three further hotels are now trading within close proximity of the airport, the Clarion will obviously be of interest to the hotel industry generally because of handsome profits, prime location and development potential. It stands on a site of 5.5 acres and has a particularly good surface car park with 224 spaces.

Under a master plan currently being prepared for the first 20 acres of the proposed DAA office park running from the new Terminal 2 to the area around the former Aer Lingus HQ, the Clarion Hotel site is expected to qualify for a high-rise development because it is located away from the flight paths.

Should the facility remain in hotel use, the new owners will obviously plump for a multi-storey development to cater for the increasing traffic through the airport.

The Radisson is the second largest hotel at the airport with 229 bedrooms, while the Premier Inn has 155 bedrooms and the Carlton has 100 bedrooms. Also close by are the Crown Plaza, Holiday Inn Express and Bewleys.


Brand opportunities
Barrett said the planned sale of the two hotels would provide hotel groups with a fantastic opportunity to gain a significant foothold with a total of 412 bedroom in the Dublin hotel market.

He said the two hotels had the added advantage of being free of management contract and brand, offering a purchaser flexibility and branding opportunities.

The hotels are for sale in one lot at €40 million or separately at €30million for the one in the IFSC and €10 million for the airport hotel.