EXCLUSIVE: High-profile developer swoops on former Limerick hotel site for €6.2m

Eugene Phelan

Reporter:

Eugene Phelan

A HIGH-profile developer has bought the Ardhu Ryan site on Limerick’s North Circular Road for €6.2m, it can be exclusively revealed.

Businessman Aidan Brooks is set to go ahead with his first major development in Limerick in over 10 years following confirmation from business sources that his company has bought the site.

It is understood that Tribeca Holdings, the investment company owned by the Brooks Family, is the buyer of the former hotel property.

While his family home is still on the North Circular Road, Brooks’ business has been based in London for the past decade, where he has masterminded multi-million euro deals in New York, Paris, London and other locations around the world.

The developer returns home on a very regular basis and was understood to have been keen to purchase the property, in which there are understood to have been strong bids by other big players in the property game.

The 4.8 acre site was put on the market by receiver Eoin Ryan on behalf of NAMA in September with an asking price of €5.5m. The sale is understood to have attracted up to 10 strong bids and was eventually sold to Tribeca Holdings for €6.2m.

It was marketed by local auctioneer JC Gubbins and Knight Frank and went for more than was expected in a strong sign that the property market is continuing a strong upturn.

The site comes with planning permission for 59 residential units and 7 sites for detached residences on Roses Avenue.

Ardhu House was built in 1850 for the family of Thomas Revington and was converted to a Hotel in the 1960s by the Ryan Group. It was most recently known as the Clarion Suites but the site has been in NAMA’s ownership since 2010 when the previous landowners Budelli Construction collapsed into receivership.

A well-placed source said: “It not known what Brooks’ plans are for the site is but it is likely local residents will be happy with the news as Aidan is known as a high quality operator and his family home Portland House is just around the corner.”

The source added: “This will be seen as a positive indicator for the Limerick property market as Brooks has not invested here in over a decade and has now re-entered the market, indicating confidence in the local market.”

Brooks started his career in the mid 1990s with the development of the former Bedford Garage on Howley’s Quay and he went on to transform much of Henry Street.

Soon after the crash in 2008/2009 he moved his family and business to London where he successfully navigated his way through the downturn, unlike many other Irish property developers.