Jurys Doyle Hotel Group plc today (Tuesday 1st June, 1999) announced the acquisition of a property in Central London for which it has received planning permission to build a 170 bedroom four star hotel. The announcement was made by the Group`s Chairman, Walter Beatty at the official opening of Jurys Manchester Inn today by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Tony Burns. The London property being acquired is the Sir Edwin Lutyens designed Central Club on Great Russell Street, which is adjacent to Covent Garden, Bloomsbury and Oxford Street. The estimated cost of the property plus the refurbishment cost will total stg. £23 million, representing £135,300 per room.
“We are very pleased to have secured a highly attractive building in a superb central site”, said Mr. Beatty. “It enhances our presence in the important London market adding to Jurys Kensington Hotel, the Clifton Ford off Oxford Street and Jurys London Inn in Islington. London is a year round market and our ability to sell into London from our central reservations system and from our network of hotels together with the cross selling opportunities within London make this a very attractive acquisition”.
The Central Club is a 90,000 sq.ft freehold property designed and built in 1932. It is a Grade II listed building originally used as a charitable institution but in latter days it has functioned as a hostel. The building has been managed by a Trust whose Chairperson is Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The Group has obtained planning permission from the London Borough of Camden for change of use and for a full refurbishment, retaining the facade of the building.
The property comprises seven upper floors and two basement levels. It is planned to build 170 four star standard rooms with air conditioning, a restaurant and bar and conference/meeting facilities. The building currently has an unused swimming pool in the basement.
The location is within five minutes walk of Covent Garden, the British Museum, the major shopping area of Oxford Street and Soho. Tottenham Court Road Tube Station is close by. The area enjoys a cosmopolitan dining and nightlife atmosphere and London`s Theatreland is within one mile of the site. It also has easy access to the key centres of government and to the City.
“Our strategy has been to seek out sites in central city locations where we see potential for a hotel or a Jurys Inn” said Mr. Beatty. “Once identified, we have been in a position to move swiftly to secure the opportunity at a good value price and then bring our proven management expertise to developing, marketing and managing the hotel. This hotel is yet another case in point. The acquisition and development costs will be financed through debt. It is envisaged that the new hotel will be open in Autumn 2000”, he said.