Singapore businessman snaps up Dame Street hotel and bar for €12m

Buyer of Dublin Citi Hotel and Trinity Bar has extensive property portfolio in Ireland

The Dublin Citi Hotel and Trinity Bar on Dame Street have sold for about €12 million. Singapore businessman Dr Stanley Quek, who has strong links with Ireland including an extensive property portfolio, is understood to be the purchaser, along with his business partner Peng Loh, a hotelier and restaurateur.

Agent Savills acted for the vendors in the transaction, while BNP Paribas Real Estate acted for the purchasers, but neither agent had any comment in relation to the sale.

In 2015 the hotel was sold with a €3 million asking price to Michael, Denis and Paul Hennebry, utilising a special purpose vehicle named Henciti. Public accounts for the company suggest that it may have paid up to €4.5 million for the property, including all acquisition costs.

At the time the property was acquired, it was leased to an operator at €530,000 a year. Following a court ruling in 2016 regarding rental arrears accrued by the then-tenant, the lease was forfeited and the landlords, who have experience in the hospitality industry, took over the operations in September 2016.


Rent reviews

In acquiring the property, Dr Quek and Mr Loh were set to benefit from a new 25-year lease generating annual rents of €660,000, with five-yearly rent reviews linked to the consumer price index.

However, it appears they may be taking on the operation of the premises, as the Hennebry family have stepped down from the board of directors of the operating company, named Hencitiop, and have been replaced by the new owners, according to documents filed with the Companies Registrations Office.

Dr Quek and Mr Loh have previously partnered together to acquire other Irish hotel assets, including the €7 million purchase of Trinity Lodge hotel on Frederick Street, Dublin 2, in 2016. Last year the duo bought the Sheen Falls hotel in Kenmare, Co Kerry, for €17 million.

Georgian buildings

The hotel acquisition is Dr Quek's second multimillion-euro purchase in recent weeks. In nearby Ballsbridge, the property investor and developer acquired 15-17 Percy Place, two extensively refurbished interlinked Georgian buildings extending to 552sq m (5,937sq ft) with a €3.55 million guide price through the Quinn Agnew agency. The offices were sold by technology entrepreneur Ray Nolan and his wife, who acquired them in 2015 with a guide price of €2.3 million.

Mr Nolan used the premises as the registered offices for various companies in which he is involved, including Ultimate Rugby, the rugby application whose shareholders include former Ireland rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll. Those companies have recently relocated just a short distance away to Two Haddington Buildings on Haddington Road, enabling the sale of the Percy Place offices with full vacant possession to Dr Quek.

It is his latest acquisition of period Dublin offices, adding to his current holdings of similar properties on Molesworth Street, Baggot Street and Merrion Square.