HomeBussinessFormer Union Cafe in Dublin is latest McKillen asset to hit the...

Former Union Cafe in Dublin is latest McKillen asset to hit the market


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The offer for sale is the latest in a series of moves over the last two years by Mr McKillen Jr to dispose of his interests in hotels, hospitality venues and development sites.

An Oakmount subsidiary had received planning permission for a development of 50 apartments on the Union site across two four-storey blocks and a 1,164 sqm three-storey commercial block, along with 2,985 sqm of basement parking.

The drinks licence for the Union will also be available to a purchaser as an additional option.

Todays News in 90 Seconds – 10th July 2024

Ollie Lyons of JLL says that while this planning permission has since lapsed, there is potential for “a more optimised residential offering, making it an even more attractive proposition for developers”.

Union Café is located on the corner of Deerpark Road and North Avenue across from the local church, national school, community centre and Deerpark itself, as well as a parade of shops and restaurants. It is also located next to The Pinnacle development where Oakmount is building 100 apartments. After building work at The Pinnacle was interrupted due to an issue with the contractor, the first phase of these units is believed to be due for completion this year.

Aimed at the upmarket sector, including empty nesters trading down in the mature Mount Merrion area, when originally sold off the plans prices for The Pinnacle apartments had started at €550,000. The remainder of the 100 apartments will be sold when the scheme is completed this autumn. Prices have yet to be announced.

Last November, Press Up Hospitality Group, the restaurant and pubs division of Mr McKillen Jr’s group which operated Union Cafe, closed the premises so the building could be demolished to make way for the new apartment block.

The site on the corner of Deerpark Road and North Avenue in Mount Merrion, Dublin

Mr McKillen Jr originally launched the Union Cafe brand in the Mount Merrion premises and opened two others in Sandyford and Churchtown in south Dublin. Then after he acquired Elephant & Castle restaurant he rebranded the latter two as Elephant & Castle while leaving Mount Merrion as Union.

Meanwhile, JLL is progressing the sale of another McKillen development site in Sandyford, Dublin 18, which had been guiding €2.75m. Mr McKillen Jr has applied for planning permission for 14 three- and four-bedroom terraced houses rising to three storeys on this 0.97-acre elevated site at the foothills of the Dublin mountains. Its sale does not include the drinks licence for the landmark former Lamb Doyle’s licensed premises which occupies the site.

Other group disposals saw a majority stake in its Dean Hotel Group sold in February to the London-headquartered Lifestyle Hospitality Capital, backed by funds advised by Elliott Investment Management, in a transaction that valued the hotel chain at a reported €355m.

In recent weeks it has also been reported that Cheyne Capital is moving to take control of the Press Up Hospitality Group. Cheyne has been the main financier of the group for the past two years and is believed to be owed close to €40m.

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