The purchase is Whitbread’s first freehold acquisition in Dublin and represents a significant step in Premier Inn’s expansion into Ireland as the business looks to fulfil a requirement for 2,000-2,500 bedrooms in Dublin.
Kevin Murray, head of acquisitions (North & Ireland) for Whitbread, said: “Securing Twilfit House is an important landmark in Premier Inn’s expansion into Ireland and builds strong momentum to our acquisition drive in Dublin. Being close to many major tourist attractions and great transport links makes Twilfit House an excellent location for a Premier Inn hotel and we expect it to trade very well on opening.
“The deal marks Whitbread’s first freehold investment in Dublin city centre and we are actively pursuing other live freehold and leasehold opportunities, including potential office-to-hotel conversions and going concern purchases, as we seek to secure up to 2,500 Premier Inn bedrooms in the city.”
Whitbread has acquired the freehold on the Twilfit House site from Abarta Investments ICAV. The investment fund had previously secured full planning permission from Dublin City Council to build a 180-bedroom hotel on the site. The planning consent was upheld by An Bord Pleanála in late December 2018 and, upon expiration of the existing tenancies, Whitbread will demolish the existing three-storey Twilfit House building and construct a new seven-storey Premier Inn hotel on the site.
Daniel O’Connor, senior vice president JLL Hotels Ireland, who advises Whitbread on its expansion in Ireland, added: “We are delighted to advise Whitbread PLC on this high profile off-market acquisition of the Twilfit House site in Dublin 1. The acquisition is an excellent fit for the company’s first freehold purchase in Dublin, given its prime location and expertly designed hotel scheme. The hunt is very much on for further Dublin opportunities for the business.”
The purchase of Twilfit House is the second Premier Inn hotel to be secured in Dublin city centre after Whitbread confirmed last autumn it had secured planning permission for a 97-bedroom Premier Inn hotel on South Great Georges Street.