Sunday 25 September 2016

There's no room for the Inn - CHQ firm

Published 14/09/2015 | 02:30

Former Coca-Cola boss Neville Isdell who owns the historic CHQ building. The nearby Jurys Inn hotel on Custom House quay has planning permission for a major extension, including additional conference facilities and up to 85 bedrooms
Former Coca-Cola boss Neville Isdell who owns the historic CHQ building. The nearby Jurys Inn hotel on Custom House quay has planning permission for a major extension, including additional conference facilities and up to 85 bedrooms
The historic CHQ building
Jurys Inn Custom House

The company behind the landmark CHQ building in Dublin's docklands, which is owned by former Coca-Cola boss Neville Isdell, has asked An Bord Pleanala to reject plans by Jurys Inn for a large extension to its nearby hotel property.

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CHQ Limited has argued that the scale of the proposed development - which would raise, in part, the height of the hotel to seven storeys - is excessive.

"Our client has significant concerns in relation to the height, scale, and massing of the proposed extension to the west of the building in terms of the significant negative impact that this would have on the CHQ building," consultants for CHQ told An Bord Pleanala.

The consultants have insisted that Dublin City Council, in granting permission for the development, have not taken into account the "status and importance" of the CHQ building, which was built in 1821 as a bonded warehouse. The six-storey Jurys hotel currently has 239 bedrooms. The planned extension to the hotel would include additional conference facilities and up to 85 bedrooms.

The Jurys Inn group is owned by US private equity giant Lone Star, which bought the business this year for €960m.

It has put the Jurys business at the core of its new Amaris Hospitality brand, which it's expected will be floated on the stock exchange.

"Our plans for expanding the Jurys Inn Custom House hotel form part of the wider Amaris Hospitality strategy to maximise synergies and growth opportunities for the hotel portfolio and drive superior performance," said a spokesman for Amaris.

Mr Isdell, who hails from Co Down, bought the historic CHQ building in 2013 for €10m and is spending €12m to convert its vaults into an interactive emigration-themed museum, called Epic Ireland.

The centre previously failed to work as a retail destination, but Isdell is also trying to revive its fortunes on that front.

Irish Independent

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