Tuesday 23 July 2019

Premier Inn buys Dublin site for €15m

Central thinking: Twilfit House is close to O’Connell Street, Temple Bar, Trinity College and other tourist attractions
Central thinking: Twilfit House is close to O’Connell Street, Temple Bar, Trinity College and other tourist attractions

Ellie Donnelly and Ronald Quinlan

Whitbread, which owns the Premier Inn hotel chain, has purchased the landmark Twilfit House site in Dublin 1 for a figure in excess of €15m, the Irish Independent can reveal.

The group intends to build a 180-bedroom hotel on the land.

Located close to O'Connell Street, Temple Bar, Trinity College and other tourist attractions, the site is Whitbread's first freehold acquisition in Dublin.

In a statement yesterday, Whitbread said the Twilfit site purchase represented a "significant" step in its expansion into Ireland, as it looks to fulfil a requirement for 2,000-2,500 bedrooms in Dublin.

While Whitbread did not disclose the price it had paid for the site, industry sources said they understood the figure to be in excess of €15m.

Whitbread's acquisition of the property was brokered by Dan O'Connor, senior vice -president of JLL's hotel division.

"This acquisition is an excellent fit for the company's first freehold purchase in Dublin, given its prime location and expertly-designed hotel scheme," he said. "The hunt is very much on for further Dublin opportunities for the business."

Kevin Murray, head of acquisitions (North & Ireland) for Whitbread said: "Securing Twilfit House is an important landmark in Premier Inn's expansion into Ireland and builds strong momentum to our acquisition drive in Dublin."

"Being close to many major tourist attractions and transport links makes it an excellent location for a Premier Inn hotel and we expect it to trade very well on opening."

The group is also "actively pursuing" other freehold and leasehold opportunities, including potential office-to-hotel conversions and going concern purchases, as it seeks to expand in the capital.

This is the second Premier Inn hotel to be secured in the capital after Whitbread secured planning permission for a 97-bedroom Premier Inn on South Great Georges Street last autumn.

Irish Independent

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