Vacant hotel in Dublin acquired by Swiss group

Is has been reported that a Swiss company, with the backing of Israeli investors, has acquired the Grand Canal Square Hotel, which is located in the Dublin docklands and has been vacant for some time. The hotel and apartment complex was originally built by a Dublin developer and funded by Bank of Scotland, which has since closed its banking operations in Ireland. The development also has five retail units on the ground floor and 138 underground car parking spaces.

KPMG receivers have been working on the sale of the hotel complex, which is situated directly opposite the Grand Canal Theatre, for around 15 months. The receivers have still not confirmed the sale of the Dublin hotel and the 84 apartments in the complex, although it is believed that the price is somewhere around €30 million. If this figure is true then it falls well short of the debts on the development, which are thought to be in the region of €90 million.

The Swiss company in question is thought to have links with the W Hotels chain. This group specializes in luxury boutique hotels and currently has establishments in New York, Washington and Barcelona as well as hotels in London. As yet there is noting to indicate that the Dublin hotel will form part of this group of hotels.

Apart from the purchase price, it is expected that any new owner of the Grand Canal Square Hotel would have to spend somewhere in the region of a further €10 million on finishing fitting out the hotel including the restaurants, lounges, bars, kitchens, conference facilities etc. Of the 169 bedrooms, 21 of them are laid out as suites.

It is thought that, back in 2006, the original developer had a deal to sell the Dublin hotel to a Galway-based developer and hotelier for around €50 million. However, that deal could not be completed as, like many others, it too became a victim of the international banking crisis and the subsequent collapse in the price of property.