The former Berkeley Court and Jurys Inn hotels in the heart of Dublin 4 have been put for sale at upwards of €150m, less than half the price famously paid by Sean Dunne in 2005.
The renamed Clyde Court and Ballsbridge Hotels are expected to fetch between €120m and €150m, with strong interest from a number of international and national buyers. Property firms Savills and Eastdil Secured will conduct the sale.
American billionaire John Malone, who recently purchased the nearby Intercontinental Hotel, is among the list of potential bidders. Other names in the mix include private equity group Blackstone, which owns the former Burlington Hotel and several other Dublin 4 properties. The relative weakness of the euro against the pound will no doubt factor into the sale.
It is however highly unlikely an Irish developer will be in a position to purchase the entire site, especially as banks are not currently lending to finance such endeavours.
Ulster Bank and Rabobank took control of the properties in 2009 following a failed attempt by Mr. Dunne to redevelop the site into a mixed use residential, hotel and retail area, that would have included a 37 floor apartment tower. The 6.8 acre site currently has revised planning permission for a high density set of apartment blocks, a 152 bedroom hotel, a public plaza with associated landscaped pedestrian streets as well as over 7,000 sq. m of retail space. The planning permission is valid until 2021, making it an attractive proposition for redevelopment post-purchase.
The sale is being codenamed Project Trinity, in reference to the Trinity College Botanic Gardens that were once house on the land.
“No other opportunity of this scale is likely to be presented again in Dublin,” said Tom Barrett of Savills. “Project Trinity combines remarkable location with exceptional potential. In the right hands, this site will become a showcase of high-end luxury residential living not seen before in Dublin along with the potential to deliver a new four- to five-star hotel for the Dublin City Centre market.”