Pettitt family buys landmark Paul Quay site
The Pettitt family-owned group which operates the Talbot Hotel has bought the landmark Stonebridge building on Paul Quay and is planning to open an upmarket 73-room aparthotel there.
The acquisition of the two-acre complex is one of the biggest deals in Wexford for years and will provide a major fillip to the south end of the town as well as the wider Wexford and beyond.
The building, featuring 73-luxury apartments, is less than 100 metres from the four-star, family-owned Talbot Hotel on Wexford's quayside. It will, according to the new owners, become a Talbot Hotel Collection Aparthotel.
Stonebridge, completed in 2008, was developed as a lavish complex, however it never opened for public use, a victim of the demise of the Celtic Tiger and until last year, when major retailer TK Maxx opened on the ground floor, had remained empty. The multinational is said to be paying five per cent of its turnover in rent which is believed to be around €250,000 a year.
Owner of the Talbot Hotel Collection Cormac Pettitt said the group planned to invest another €2.5 million to complete the apartments.
The new owners say the 73 partly-finished exclusive apartments are ideally suited for family holidays, luxury breaks and executive stays.
The building also features a 314 space multi-storey car park enabling the new owners to offer private parking with direct access to the hotel-serviced apartments. Guests will also have access to the pool and leisure centre and food and beverage services at the adjacent Talbot Hotel.
According to business sources in Wexford, the Talbot group offered substantially more than the €6.75 million-plus Stonebridge was listed at when it came on to the market last September on the instructions of receiver Paul McCann, of Grant Thornton Ireland.
The expansive modern building Stonebridge complex, on just over two acres, includes over 4,000 square metres of retail space along with an refurbished six-storey former grain store listed building. Two further retail buildings are also included in the sale, a three-storey at 89 South Main Street and a further building at Pierce Court.
Commenting on the acquisition, owner of the Talbot Hotel Collection Cormac Pettitt said, 'We are delighted to have purchased this fantastic development in the heart of Wexford town, it is a very exciting opportunity for the company. Our plans are to invest a further €2.5million to complete these luxury apartments and welcome guests by the middle of this year.
'This is a major acquisition for the company and we are very much looking forward to bringing life back to this amazing development; the views alone are enough to make guests fall in love with Wexford town.'
The new aparthotel will feature a mixture of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments set out over five floors above a ground floor retail space, which is leased to TK Maxx.
All of the apartments command extensive floor space from 70 square metres right up to the vast 180 square metre penthouses. Each apartment features an ultra modern Italian-style kitchen with the living areas commanding floor to ceiling windows offering the most spectacular sea views along the Quayside, a sky-high view of Wexford town and panoramic vistas of Mount Leinster.
Managing Director of the Talbot Hotel Collection Philip Gavin said the aparthotel 'will have its own manager and its people as such, but it will be controlled from the Talbot'.
'It is spectacular and something that is new for use and something that is very exciting. It's the only one of its kind in Ireland and will attract visitors to Wexford.'
Mr Gavin told this newspaper the development will enable the hotel collection to attract new visitors to Wexford.
He said the company will be trying to attract new customers to Wexford to enjoy the accommodation that Stonebridge has to offer and at the same time the top class facilities at the Talbot 'next door'.
'This a completely unique tourism proposition, there is not a hotel in Ireland offering anything like this accommodation to guests, both in terms of the scale and the quality. This is a one-of-a-kind tourism offering and a real game changer in terms of the accommodation offering in Wexford and nationally within the Irish hotel sector.'
Mr Gavin said the floor to ceiling windows offer spectacular uninterrupted sea views whilst the aparthotel is also centrally located with the amenities of Wexford town on the doorstep. Each apartment features top of the range fixtures and fittings, all of the first floor apartments have access to a landscaped private garden area and the apartments from floor two to five feature private balconies.
The Wexford-based hotel group operates The Talbot Hotels in Wexford town, Carlow and Stillorgan and during 2014 added The Oriel House Hotel and The Midleton Park Hotel to its hotel portfolio along with the Dome Entertainment Centre, a property adjacent to The Talbot Hotel Carlow.
The parent company of The Talbot Hotel group also operates six Pettitts SuperValu stores across Wexford, Wicklow and Kildare.
The Talbot Hotel Collection currently employs more than 600 people at their Wexford, Carlow, Dublin and Cork hotels.
It is thought that 20 new fulltime positions will be created at the aparthotel in Wexford and an additional 40 contract positions will also be created during the renovation phase of the building until the official opening in early summer 2016.