Tuesday 27 June 2017

Landmark hotel in capital's trendiest area set for major revamp

Staff members Aoife Coyne and Zuleika Monaghan staff in the Library Bar of the Central
Hotel in Dublin Picture: Kyran O'Brien
Staff members Aoife Coyne and Zuleika Monaghan staff in the Library Bar of the Central Hotel in Dublin Picture: Kyran O'Brien
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Developer Jerry Conlon is planning a major multi-million euro upgrade of the landmark Central Hotel on Dublin's Exchequer Street.

Mr Conlon was one of the so-called Maple 10 investors who became shareholders in Anglo Irish Bank in 2008 when Sean Quinn offloaded his 25pc stake in the doomed lender. Anglo loaned the Maple 10 a total of €451m to buy a 10pc stake.

The redevelopment scheme includes the demolition of some property adjacent to the hotel, and the conversion of retail and nightclub space to hotel use. The project will see the number of rooms at the property increase from 70 to 116. Mr Conlon was a significant builder during the boom and also owned the private Mount Carmel Hospital that was closed in 2014 and bought the same year by the HSE.

In plans submitted to Dublin City Council, Mr Conlan has detailed sweeping alterations he wants at the Central Hotel, which is a protected structure. The hotel has been in operation for almost 130 years.

Among the changes will be the demolition of 12 Dame Court, a building that is currently occupied by a pizza restaurant.

That building will be replaced with a seven-storey extension to the hotel, which will include a bar and rooms. New facades are also planned.

In a 2012 RTE radio documentary, the managing director of the Central Hotel, Myles Tuthill, said that Mr Conlon had been playing poker in the hotel and woke up there the next morning with the keys of the property in his pocket.

"He trundled on home and got a phonecall the next day - the banks were foreclosing on this unless you give us a million," said Mr Tuthill. "He duly, promptly, stumped up a million. He bought the place out in 2007."

Irish Independent

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