Over 100 expressions of interest in Zanzibar quays property

Selling agency CBRE says shortage of hotels in Dublin reason for strong interest

More than 100 expressions of interest have been lodged for the Zanzibar hotel development on Ormond Quay in Dublin’s city centre.

The property has an asking price of in excess of €5 million with first-round bids due to be lodged with selling agency CBRE on October 7th.

Some 25 viewings have already been held, with interest being expressed by parties from Ireland, the UK and Europe.

While it is being marketed as a hotel development opportunity, some parties have looked at it for the purpose of operating a hostel or providing student accommodation.

It is understood that Dalata, Ireland’s biggest hotel chain, has not expressed an interest in the site. The listed company already has a number of development opportunities and extensions to existing hotels planned for Dublin.

Visitor numbers

Paul Collins of CBRE said the strong interest is a result of a shortage of hotels in Dublin at a time when visitor numbers are at record levels.

“It’s a reaction to the huge shortage of hotel rooms in the city,” Mr Collins said of the strong interest levels. “There has been a chronic undersupply of new rooms [since the economic crash in 2008] and we badly need more capacity.”

Situated on 0.42 acres, Zanzibar was previously part of the Capital Bars group when it was run by brothers Liam and Des O’Dwyer. At one point, Zanzibar was mooted to be part of a plan to build a larger hotel by incorporating it with an adjacent site owned by CIÉ.

It has not traded for a number of years but has planning permission for the retention and conversion of two protected structures and the provision of an 89-bedroom hotel covering 7,077sq m, of which 5,494sq m would be new build.

The hotel would also have a bar and restaurant. There are four floors of bedrooms planned, the majority of which are in the new extension to the rear of the property.

Planning was originally granted by An Bord Pleanála in 2009 and has been extended out to March 2019. The permission also allows for the creation of a new walkway to the side of the hotel linking Ormond Quay to Great Strand Street.