Premier Inn Gets Go Ahead For City Centre Hotel, As It Aims For 2,000 Rooms In Dublin
Premier Inn’s plan to expand its presence in Dublin to up to 2,000 rooms has been give a boost with a grant of planning permission for a 97-bedroom hotel at 41-46 South Great George’s St.
It will be Premier Inn’s first hotel in the city centre. The three-star chain has just one property in the Republic of Ireland — Premier Inn Dublin Airport, which was recently extended to 213 bedrooms.
The new hotel will be built on the quarter-acre site of a derelict row of buildings that have been on Dublin City Council’s vacant sites register since July 2017. Last August, the council valued the site at €7.5M.
The existing red-brick facade will be retained and a new five-storey over basement building constructed behind it.
FTSE 100-listed Whitbread, Premier Inn’s owner, bought the site in March and is expecting to invest €16M on the project. The Greenleaf Group will develop the hotel to the Premier Inn brand’s latest specifications.
Whitbread said it has a requirement for between 1,500 and 2,000 Premier Inn bedrooms in Dublin.
“South Great George’s Street is a significant landmark moment for Premier Inn,” Whitbread Head of Acquisitions (North & Ireland) Kevin Murray said. “It’s our first new site in Dublin city centre and the start of our acquisition drive in the city and across Ireland. It is also exactly the type of prominent location we are looking for and expect to trade well from.”
The company is looking at a range of options for securing new sites. Murray said it is pursuing live leasehold and freehold opportunities, including potential office-to-hotel conversions and going concern purchases.
According to JLL Hotels Ireland Senior Vice President Daniel O’Connor, who advises Whitbread on its expansion in Ireland and was involved in the South Great George’s Street deal, Dublin has a particular undersupply of branded budget hotel offerings.
“Currently the sector comprises only 2% of Ireland’s room count, compared to 23% in the U.K., which presents significant growth opportunities for branded operators such as Premier Inn,” he said.
Premier Inn operates 785 hotels with 72,000 bedrooms across the U.K. It has seven properties in Northern Ireland.