Cosgraves seek €35m for Smithfield hotel

Dublin Loft Company seeks buyer for 147-key Hendrick following recent sale of Big Tree Hotel

While the near-term prospects for the hotel sector remain uncertain, the Dublin Loft Company will be hoping to take advantage of the renewed appetite among investors for post-pandemic opportunities in the capital.

Having only recently completed the sale of the newly built Big Tree Hotel on Dorset Street, the firm headed up by siblings Andrew, Mark and Kelly Cosgrave of the well-known Cosgrave developer family, is now looking for a buyer for the Hendrick Smithfield. The boutique Dublin 7 hotel is being offered to the market by agent JLL at a guide price of €35 million.

Although that figure is understood to be roughly equivalent to the sum the Cosgraves secured from MM Capital and Roundshield for the 163-bedroom Big Tree Hotel, the amount being sought for the 147-bedroom Hendrick is higher on a per key basis. The €238,000 per key being guided for the Smithfield hotel is €24,000 more than the estimated €214,000 per key the Dublin Loft Company is understood to have agreed to in the Big Tree transaction.

While both hotels are newly built, LEED gold-certified for sustainability, and situated within walking distance of Dublin's city centre, the Hendrick's slightly higher valuation is likely accounted for by the fact that it comes for sale with an established trading history under a management agreement with the Tifco Hotel Group. At its guide price of €35 million, the hotel is expected to prove attractive to a range of domestic and international investors. The €238,000 price per key is significantly less than the €300,000 paid on average in the five major hotel sales that took place in Dublin in 2021. The guide price also represents a significant discount on the offer of up to €50 million the Dublin Loft Company is understood to have received for the hotel shortly after its opening in May 2019.


LEED gold hotel

The Hendrick Smithfield bears the distinction of being Ireland’s first LEED gold hotel. In terms of its sustainability, the hotel makes use of rainwater harvesting, extensive PV solar roof panels, LED lighting and the latest in energy-efficient and climate-conscious design.

The Hendrick is also Ireland’s only “street art” hotel, housing a bespoke collection of over 250 pieces of street and contemporary art. The hotel’s offering also includes a large open-plan lobby at ground floor level, the Hendrick Bar, and an outdoor terrace.

While the Hendrick offers its guests all the amenities required in a contemporary hotel, the emphasis is on function as opposed to the pampering associated with the luxury end of the market. All guest rooms are well-equipped, however, with King Koil mattresses, power showers, USB ports, high-speed wifi, air conditioning, blackout blinds and safes.

Leisure demand

The business caters for strong leisure demand supported by the nearby Jameson Distillery and Guinness Storehouse, as well as strong corporate demand, including from the legal sector and the nearby Four Courts complex.

There is also significant redevelopment ongoing beside the hotel, with the Irish Distillers building and Haymarket House developments alone, set to deliver upwards of 300,000sq ft of new grade A offices.

Commenting on the sale of the Hendrick Smithfield, Dan O’Connor, executive vice president of JLL’s hotel division, said: “It is rare that a brand-new Dublin hotel, expertly developed with a unique lifestyle design and real ESG credentials, comes to the open market. We are expecting significant domestic and international interest in the Hendrick Smithfield, with investors well-placed to participate in the recovery in the Irish hotel market and ultimately acquire a best-in-class hotel asset.”

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan is Property Editor of The Irish Times