Buyer found for Belfast’s £7m ETAP Hotel, with deals close for Bloomfield and The Quays shopping centres

The ETAP Hotel in Belfast has gone on the market for £7.175m
The ETAP Hotel in Belfast, which went on the market for £7.175m in October 2023.

A buyer has been found for Belfast’s ETAP Hotel, just a few months after the budget venue went on the market with a £7.175 million asking price.

A new report from real estate consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) analysing the state of the north’s commercial property market, said the sale has been agreed for the 146-bed Dublin Road hotel.

It comes just weeks after Cork-based hospitality group iNua acquired the Radisson Blu Hotel in Belfast’s Gasworks, a deal backed by Dublin property investor Warren Private.

The LSH report also states that deals for The Quays Shopping Centre in Newry and the Bloomfield Shopping Centre and Retail Park in Bangor are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2024.

Bloomfield went on the market in November with a £22m price tag attached to the Co Down shopping complex.

It has been owned by Ellandi and real-estate asset management firm Tristan Capital Partners since November 2015.

A price has not been listed for the 375,000 sq ft Newry shopping centre The Quays.

The sale of the well-known shopping centres following a busy year for retail centres in the north.

Rushmere, Forestside and the Abbey Retail Park all sold for more than £40m in 2023, with the £46.5m paid for Rushmere the biggest commercial property deal reported last year.

Foyleside Shopping Centre in Derry also sold for £27m.

LSH said £204.4m worth of retail assets changed hands in 2023, which was 60% above the five-year average and the highest annual volume since 2017.

The consultancy said last year saw the highest number of property deals recorded since 2018.

Annual investment volume by sector (£m) (Ryan)

A total of £341.4m commercial property deals were completed, with the total transaction spend increasing to £341.4m, 24% above the five-year average and the highest total since 2017.

The industrial sector in 2023 slipped 19% below the five-year average, while £58.7m of office deals were done, which was 6% below the five-year average.

The biggest office deal of 2023 was the £20.2m paid for Bedford House in Belfast, which was acquired by a local investor in May 2023.