The new 9,205sq m build­ing will re­place the ex­ist­ing 3,450 sq m struc­ture – a for­mer corset fac­tory dat­ing from 1927.

Ex­ist­ing struc­ture is a for­mer corset fac­tory which dates from 1927 Abarta plans to spend €19m to de­velop prop­erty bought in 2014 for €4.15m

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - AI­DAN MUR­PHY

An in­vest­ment group has sought planning ap­proval to de­mol­ish Twil­fit House at the junc­tion of Jervis and Up­per Abbey streets in Dublin 1 and re­place it with an eight-storey, over-base­ment ho­tel, at an es­ti­mated €19.3 mil­lion to de­velop.

Abarta In­vest­ments, which is as­so­ci­ated with in­vest­ment group SW3 Cap­i­tal, hopes to un­lock the prop­erty’s valu­able city cen­tre site three years af­ter ac­quir­ing it, with its con­sul­tants re­fer­ring to the ex­ist­ing build­ing as “a very in­ef­fi­cient use of land”.

The new 9,205sq m (99,082sq ft) build­ing, com­pris­ing a 1,207sq m (12,992sq ft) gym and 7,998sq m (86,089sq ft) ho­tel, will re­place the ex­ist­ing 3,450sq m (37,135sq ft) struc­ture – a for­mer corset fac­tory dat­ing from 1927. The pro­posed ho­tel will, if granted per­mis­sion, fea­ture 218 rooms in ad­di­tion to ex­ten­sive bar and res­tau­rant ar­eas at ground­floor level.

The ac­tive street frontage af­forded by these ground-floor fa­cil­i­ties, in ad­di­tion to Dublin City Coun­cil’s plans for the redesign of ad­join­ing Wolfe Tone Park, will “en­er­gise the area”, ac­cord­ing to ar­chi­tects at TOTP. They have de­signed a strik­ing mod­ern build­ing for the site, with a fa­cade in­cor­po­rat­ing a mix of light-stone, ex­ten­sive floor-to-ceil­ing glaz­ing and bronze screen­ing.

SW3 Cap­i­tal has been in­vest­ing in new op­por­tu­ni­ties, such as its mul­ti­fam­ily res­i­den­tial in­vest­ments in south Dublin in part­ner­ship with Tris­tan Cap­i­tal Part­ners, but has also be­gun dis­pos­ing of prop­er­ties it ac­quired in re­cent years.

Sale agreed

SW3’s pro­posed Abbey Street ho­tel is in close prox­im­ity to the planned ho­tel de­vel­op­ment at River House on Chancery Street. The coun­cil granted planning per­mis­sion ear­lier this year for the de­mo­li­tion of the for­mer mo­tor tax of­fice on the site and the con­struc­tion of a 249-bed­room ho­tel ex­tend­ing to 8,857sq m (95,336sq ft) in its place, which would be op­er­ated un­der the Hamp­ton by Hilton brand.

An Taisce and a lo­cal res­i­dent have since ap­pealed the de­ci­sion to grant per­mis­sion to An Bord Pleanála, which is due to de­cide on the de­vel­op­ment’s fate next month. Jalalud­din Ka­jani, a Pak­istan-born Ir­ish ci­ti­zen, ac­quired the site last year.

As the sites of River House and Twil­fit House are roughly a third of an acre in size each, the €8 mil­lion price paid in 2016 for the for­mer, which is not as well lo­cated and has no rental in­come, highlights a more than dou­bling of val­ues since SW3 ac­quired Twil­fit House for €4.15 mil­lion in 2014, with the ben­e­fit of an an­nual rent roll of €350,000.

Twil­fit House is now va­cant, al­low­ing for im­me­di­ate re­de­vel­op­ment, which may have com­manded a premium given the pur­chaser’s in­ten­tions.

The Ka­jani fam­ily own the London-based Seraphine Ho­tel Group and have in­vested in ho­tels and ho­tel sites across Ire­land since 2013. Their Dublin projects in­clude the re­de­vel­op­ment of Find­later House on O’Con­nell Street into a 198-room Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press, which opened in 2016, and a pro­posed 427-bed­room ho­tel at Stock­hole Lane near Dublin Air­port.

Water­ford

Seraphine ac­quired the Ma­rina Ho­tel in Water­ford in 2016 for a re­ported €4 mil­lion and has since been granted planning per­mis­sion to add two ad­di­tional floors, ex­tend­ing the ho­tel by 1,360sq m to ac­com­mo­date 46 ad­di­tional bed­rooms.

In Cork, Seraphine has ac­quired a row of Ge­or­gian houses at 31-33 South Ter­race for a price be­lieved in ex­cess of the €1 mil­lion sought in 2015. It plans to con­vert and ex­tend the build­ings into a 146-room ho­tel, though Cork City Coun­cil re­fused planning per­mis­sion in Jan­uary 2017, re­fer­ring to the plans as “overde­vel­op­ment” and “vis­ually ob­tru­sive”.

The pro­posed new ho­tel will, if granted planning per­mis­sion, fea­ture 218 rooms in ad­di­tion to ex­ten­sive bar and res­tau­rant ar­eas at ground-floor level

The pro­posed ho­tel at the site of Twil­fit House in Dublin 1

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