BlackRock European fund pays €30m for Jacobs Inn hostel

412-bed property underwent €5m upgrade following 2017 sale to Patron Capital for €14.5m

Jacobs Inn: The refurbishment saw the introduction of CoDE’s signature capsule beds known as “Pods”, in place of traditional bunk-beds.

Jacobs Inn: The refurbishment saw the introduction of CoDE’s signature capsule beds known as “Pods”, in place of traditional bunk-beds.

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One of Dublin’s biggest and busiest hostels, the Jacobs Inn hostel at 21-28 Talbot Place has been sold for about €30 million to a pan-European investment partnership involving BlackRock Real Assets and specialist hostel operator, Amistat Continental.

The sale of the 412-bed property comes just 16 months on from its acquisition by Patron Capital and joint-venture partner, CoDE Pod Hostels for a figure in the region of €14.5 million. Since securing ownership of the hostel, Patron completed a comprehensive asset management programme aimed at repositioning the property as the leading hostel in Dublin.

This included the refurbishment of bedrooms and the introduction of CoDE’s signature capsule beds known as “pods”, in place of traditional bunk-beds, as well as the restructuring of the ground floor to create a new bar area, a full food and beverage offering and an improved customer experience.

Refurbishing

While Patron didn’t outline the cost of the works, it is understood to have invested approximately €5 million on refurbishing the property prior to disposing of it. Taking those costs into consideration, Patron is likely to have secured an uplift of over 50 per cent on its investment in the Jacobs Inn hostel.

While those figures are impressive in themselves, they are even more spectacular when one considers the relatively-low sum of €7 million the Tetrarch Hospitality Group paid towards the end of 2014 to acquire the property in partnership with US private equity giant, Pimco.

The hostel had been offered for sale then by CBRE and KPMG as part of Ulster Bank’s Nadal portfolio. The hostel was controlled by Basil Good and Richard Evans prior to Ulster Bank taking control of its loans in late 2011.

BlackRock Real Assets and Amistat Continental’s purchase of the Jacobs Inn represents the fourth hostel the partnership has acquired or has under contract since launching their European investment strategy in 2019.

Significant opportunity

Commenting on the sale of the property to BlackRock and Amistat, Keith Breslauer, managing director of Patron Capital, said: “When we acquired this asset in late 2017, we did so because we recognised the significant opportunity in the property’s location, the strength of CoDE’s unique capsule bed concept, and the growing appetite from both users and investors for hostel accommodation. Having previously built and sold the Generator brand, the hostel space is one we know well and to have successfully executed our strategy and exited just over two years after acquisition is a strong endorsement of our team’s expertise in creating high-quality hospitality assets.”

Andrew Landsburgh, founder and chief executive of CoDE, added: “ Having successfully delivered and exited the first pod-style hostel in Dublin, we are now focused on taking this concept to a range of locations in both the Europe and the US, as well as expanding into co-living.”