A 'Premier' deal as Inn is snapped up for £9m by investor
A Premier Inn in Belfast's Cathedral Quarter has been sold for £9m, two years after the company which built it went bust.
The budget hotel between Waring Street and Donegall Street had been built by Corner Blok Ltd, which went into administration in 2011.
Now the hotel has been sold by administrators Deloitte to CBRE Global Investors in the latest big commercial property purchase by an institutional investor in Northern Ireland.
Ric Crane, director of CBRE Global Investors, said: "The Four Corners acquisition demonstrates our continuing commitment to and confidence in the Northern Irish market.
"This is our fifth purchase in the province in recent years and we have a continuing requirement for further institutional quality investments within Northern Ireland."
Gavin Elliott of CBRE, who acted on behalf of CBRE Global Investors, said: "The second half of 2013 has been very active in the Northern Irish market and we have seen the largest volume of investment sales completed since the downturn in 2008.
"The Premier Inn investment provides a long unexpired lease term of 25 years to a strong and successful covenant, while also delivering guaranteed rental uplifts every five years."
Mr Elliott said individual buyers tended to buy commercial properties at around the £3m threshold or lower, while institutional investors were involved in deals of £3m and above.
Andrew Coggins (below), of Osborne King, who acted for the vendor, said institutional vendors had been bidding on most major properties which had come onto the market.
"It should also be noted that returns are better here than in other parts of the UK, whilst prices are at much more realistic levels compared to five or six years ago – factors which obviously play a significant role in attracting investors of global stature."
Earlier this year the Scottish Mutual Building on Donegall Square in Belfast was sold to Galgorm Manor owners the Hill brothers for £2m – after a bidding process starting at the £1.75m asking price.
Tesco Extra in Newry was sold by developer Turkington Holdings to asset management company Scottish Widows Investment Partnership for £30m. The company also sold its Tesco Extra in Craigavon to British Land for £23.3m.
Meanwhile, its B&Q in Craigavon was sold to property investment manager Cordea Savills for £11.9m.