Despite council concerns, hospitality mogul Paddy McKillen is scaling up a Dublin hotel plan

The Press Up Group founder wants to nearly double the rooms in the docklands development.

By Killian Woods Reporter, Fora

DUBLIN COUNCIL HAS raised concerns about a new hotel being planned in the city’s docklands by property and hospitality mogul Paddy McKillen Jnr.

Earlier this year, a firm controlled by McKillen and Matt Ryan, Chirita Limited, filed for permission to build a 100-bedroom hotel on the site of a former warehouse on North Wall Quay.

Chirita is ultimately owned by the same firm behind McKillen’s Press Up hospitality group – which runs some of Dublin’s trendiest bars and eateries – and property development outfit Oakmount.

The request for planning permission involved nearly doubling the hotel capacity compared to previously cleared plans for the site. In early 2017, McKillen’s firm received the green light to build a five-storey hotel with 58 bedrooms.

In response to the new plans, Dublin council noted it had concerns about the proposed height of the new structure and its proximity to residential properties – ordering McKillen’s firm to provide more information about the plan ahead of a final decision.

“(Nearby) units have south-facing windows and balconies and there is concern regarding possible overshadowing,” the council said.

Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 16.30.28 An artist's impression of the completed hotel
Source: DCC


McKillen’s Press Up group runs a number of fashionable eateries in Dublin, such as Sophie’s and Angelina’s, while it also owns a string of bars including the Workman’s Club, Peruke & Periwig and the Vintage Cocktail Club.

In recent years, the firm has stepped up its plan to boost the number of hotels in its portfolio ahead of a reported IPO plan.

Press Up, which already runs The Dean on Harcourt Street, is due to open a new boutique hotel in Ranelagh, Dublin 6 called The Devlin.

The hospitality group has also filed plans for a second hotel on Harcourt Street, reignited its project to replace the Howl At The Moon nightclub with a new hotel and moved to open a hotel on Prospect Hill in Galway city.

McKillen’s plans for the Dublin North Wall Quay site involve creating a new hotel that incorporates part of the existing warehouse at the location – which is a protected structure.

The unit was last used as a bar at ground level and contained residential accommodation above.

The development plans include retention of the original elements of the building, such as external walls, the entrance door and windows. The new hotel would include a bar and café, with a restaurant on the top floor.

Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 16.40.57 Paddy McKillen Jnr
Source: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

McKillen’s move to ramp up his interests in the Irish hotel sector has come at a time when many venues are experiencing “unprecedented” occupancy rates.

That’s according to Fáilte Ireland, which sent a letter to the council voicing its support for the docklands hotel plan.

Data published last week by hospitality analytics firm STR Global showed that hotel prices hit record levels in Dublin during the second quarter of this year.

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