Sunday 21 January 2018

McNamara hotels to change hands

Donal Buckley

Three hotels associated with former property developer Bernard McNamara are in the course of changing or about to change hands.

The Cork International Airport Hotel is being brought to the market by receiver Paul McCann with a €4.75m price tag. Savills are the agents for the 145 bedroom four star hotel.

NAMA is believed to have received approaches for the Montrose Hotel in Dublin 4, which is located across the road from UCD and a short walk from RTE. It had been acquired during the boom by a consortium of investors with which Mr McNamara was involved. However it closed some time afterwards.

Meanwhile the Travelodge hotel chain has taken a lease on The Mercer Hotel, off St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2. Owned by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), the Mercer Hotel was developed as part of a chain of hotels linked to developer Bernard McNamara.

The chain included three former Doyle hotels, including the Burlington and Tara Towers, which continue to trade, as well as the Ormonde and Montrose which are closed.

With 39 bedrooms and a number of function rooms and a restaurant, The Mercer Hotel, now trading as the St Stephen's Green Travelodge, is located to the rear of the RCSI.

It is the first Dublin city centre hotel in the Travelodge chain. The Irish franchise for Travelodge is owned by Smorgs Ireland, which is headed by Seamus McGowan together with Richard O'Sullivan and Stan Cooney.

It has six hotels in Dublin as well as 12 throughout the island.

Mr McGowan said that the company had been seeking a city centre location for some time to cater for pent-up demand.

"Already this has been reflected in that we are booked out since we opened."

RCSI owns a number of properties in Dublin including an office building as well as its college on St Stephen's Green and an office building in Sandyford Industrial Estate.

John Hughes, of property consultants CB Richard Ellis, acted for the RSCI but declined to comment on the terms of the lease.

However observers suggest that in the current market modern hotels could rent for €4,000 per bedroom which would suggest an annual rent of around €150,000 a year for the Mercer.

Travelodge's deal brings to three the number of Dublin hotels to re-open or open this year after prolonged closure. The others are The Fleet (previously Bewleys) on Fleet Street and The Marker at Grand Canal Square.

These also reflect increased business in Dublin hotels, with revenue per room up from 67pc to 71pc last year and with overseas visitors up 7pc last year. Further growth is expected this year.

Indo Property

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