Tara Towers Hotel and site for sale at over €9m

Hotel and location may interest bidders for Elmpark development

Three weeks after the vast Elmpark office and residential development was offered for sale on the Merrion Road in Dublin 4 at over €185 million, the adjoining Tara Towers Hotel and a particularly valuable 1.4-acre site beside it are also on the market from today.

Kirsty Rothwell of DTZ Sherry FitzGerald is quoting in excess of €9 million for the 111-bedroom hotel and site, which were bought by Elmpark developers Bernard McNamara and Jerry O'Reilly in 2003 for €14.2 million. Savills are joint selling agents.

While the profitable hotel will obviously be of immense interest to hotel groups because of the shortage of hotel beds in the city, its strategic location – and more particularly its adjoining site – on the edge of Elmpark should mean that groups preparing to pitch for the 17-acre urban campus will obviously look at the wisdom of buying in the hotel as well. The same goes for a petrol filling station at the front of Elmpark, which is currently on the market at over €3 million.

A hotel expert contends that the three-star hotel has the potential to make annual profits of well over €1 million annually because of its location close to Ballsbridge.

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DTZ says the business has “huge potential” to increase both occupancy and room rates. It says that with 2015 set to be a record-breaker for Irish tourism, the sale of the Tara Towers offers a superb opportunity for hotel operators to capitalise on the acute shortage of hotel rooms in the city.

Stunning views

The Tara Towers, like a number of other hotels in the Dublin suburbs, was developed in the 1970s by the late PV Doyle, and has stunning views over Dublin Bay. Apart from its restaurant and bar, the hotel has conference facilities for 300 people and a banqueting hall that can seat 180 guests.

While most of the bedrooms have been refurbished in recent years, new owners will undoubtedly carry out other improvements to help boost income. The hotel already has an income stream from a number of mobile phone masts on the roof of the building. There is also income from the extensive car park as well as from an overflow car park close by, extending to 0.36 of an acre.

The sale also includes Oak Lodge, a derelict house at the rear of the hotel, which stands on a site of 0.09 of an acre.

A number of feasibility studies have been prepared on the options once it has been decided to redevelop the hotel and site adjoining it. One option was to provide a 120-unit aparthotel with 36 apartments on the hotel site and a further 10 apartments on the Oak Lodge site. Another was to develop 75 apartments on the hotel site, 16 apartments on the car park site and 10 more residential units on the Oak Lodge site.

With the much-enhanced prospect to boost hotel income in the current buoyant market, the likelihood is that the hotel will be enlarged and upgraded.

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan is the former commercial-property editor of The Irish Times