PROPERTY developer and investor Paddy McKillen is to open a multi-million euro boutique hotel in Dublin's Harcourt Street next year.
Belfast-born Mr McKillen has been keeping the planned development under wraps, but details of the 52-bedroom hotel are due to be released shortly.
His 30-year-old son, Paddy Jnr, will spearhead the project. He will open the doors to a new nightclub in the Harcourt Street premises next month in time for the Christmas party season.
Plans for a club at the hotel location -- which stretches over three Georgian buildings -- were initially rejected by Dublin City Council last year but subsequently approved by An Bord Pleanala in May.
The club will add to the stable of venues in which Paddy McKillen Jnr has an interest. He is already majority owner of the Wilde Club in Dublin's Wicklow Street which opened in August.
He also controls the Vintage Cocktail Club in Temple Bar, which opened last month, and is involved in a number of other venues in the capital.
His father's May Property Holdings vehicle secured the planning permission for the Harcourt Street club, while the company was also given permission in March to convert the former ICC Bank headquarters -- which stretch from 32 to 34 Harcourt Street -- into the new hotel.
A spokeswoman for Mr McKillen Snr confirmed the nightclub is scheduled to open next month and the hotel is on target to open next year.
She declined to be more specific about the opening date for the hotel, but it is almost certain that Mr McKillen will want to see it operational in time for next summer.
Even by opening then, he will already have missed any boost from Ireland's upcoming EU presidency, which runs for the first six months of 2013.
Converting and kitting out the new hotel is likely to be very costly. One hotelier estimated that the cost per room for such a project could reach as high as €100,000.
That expense excludes a massive amount of additional work on the premises such as installing a kitchen, reception area and other integral elements.
It would make the development costs likely to run well above €7m.
The hotelier said conversions of such premises can prove "enormously costly".
Mr McKillen Snr was left reeling during the summer when the High Court in London ruled against him in a case in which he claimed Britain's billionaire Barclay brothers had improperly taken control of Coroin, the holding company for three top-notch London hotels -- Claridges, the Berkeley and the Connaught.
Mr McKillen, who owns a 36pc stake in Coroin, claimed he should have been offered, for sale, shares in the group held by financier Derek Quinlan before the Barclay brothers assumed effective control of Coroin when they acquired £660m (€827m) of debt from NAMA that was attached to the company related to the hotel purchases.
He will be appealing a number of points from the ruling in coming weeks.