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Dublin’s Burlington Hotel on Sale for About 25% of 2007 Cost

The Burlington Hotel in Dublin was put up for sale with an asking price of as much as 75 million euros ($94 million), about a quarter of what Irish developer Bernard McNamara paid for the property five years ago.

The 501-bedroom hotel is being sold on behalf of Grant Thornton Ltd., the receiver for Burhotel Trading Co., according to a statement by CBRE Group Inc., the broker managing the sale. McNamara’s real estate development business unraveled in the years after he paid 288 million euros for the 3.8-acre site, about one kilometer (0.6 miles) from the center of Dublin. Burhotel is one of the companies he used to own.

“There is an opportunity to bring in the support of a world-recognized international brand,” Paul Collins, a CBRE director, said in the statement. “That can bring trading at the Burlington to another level altogether and add significantly to the future investment value.”

The Burlington Hotel, known locally as the Burlo, is the city’s second-largest after the Citywest Hotel. Dublin is one of the few areas in the country where hotel occupancy rates are increasing, the Tourism Ireland agency said in July. Revenue per available room in the city’s hotels rose for 23 consecutive months through July, CBRE said, citing data from STR Global.

Failed Development

McNamara won planning approval in 2009 to demolish the hotel and develop more than 33,300 square meters (360,000 square feet) of office space, about 180 homes, restaurants, shops and a gym through a company called Glasbay Ltd. The country’s property market had collapsed by then, with real estate values falling 66 percent from September 2007 through June, according to Investment Property Databank Ltd.

McNamara never developed the site and Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s Bank of Scotland (Ireland) unit appointed a receiver to Glasbay in February, according to a filing with the Companies Registration Office. Grant Thornton was also appointed to oversee Burhotel that month, a separate filing showed.

Lloyds is reaching incentive-laden deals with real estate management companies in Ireland and the U.K. to maximize the amount it recovers from defaulted loans. The London-based bank signed an agreement with BDL Ireland Management Ltd. that may allow the company to manage hotels tied to the bank’s 1 billion euros of Irish lodging loans, two people with knowledge of the matter said in April.

Biggest Ballroom

The Burlington Hotel, located on Upper Leeson Street close to the Grand Canal, has the biggest ballroom in Ireland, according to its website. The building has conference facilities for as many as 1,300 people.

About 1,000 people will stay in the hotel this weekend for the college football game between Notre Dame and Navy at the Aviva Stadium about two kilometers from the hotel, according to the statement. More than 33,000 U.S. tourists are expected to travel to Ireland for the game, according to The Gathering Ireland, a promotional body for the country.

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