LaSalle Investment Management has announced that Premier Inn, the UK’s largest budget hotel chain, has signed a 25-year lease on a new 84-bedroom hotel, with two retail units on the ground floor, in Portsmouth, Hampshire. The development by LaSalle will replace an obsolete office block in the city center.
A planning application has been submitted for the project, valued at approximately £8 mln (approx. €9.5 mln), which has been designed by architects PLC. The hotel will replace the Midland House office block at Dugal Drummond Street, next to the Portsmouth and Southsea Railway Station and will create approximately 35 jobs on opening.
The Midland House site occupies a prominent and very central location on the busy thoroughfare linking Guildhall Square’s range of civic offices, university faculty buildings and bars, to the shops in Commercial Road. Midland House was built in the 1970's, was vacated by HSBC in 2004 and has stood virtually empty since that time.
Andrew Derry, development director, LaSalle Investment Management, comments: "The proposed 84-bed hotel for a new Premier Inn is excellent news for Portsmouth and heralds a significant change in fortune for the city center which should encourage redevelopment on other local sites.
“The local authority masterplan has identified this area as requiring special attention and within the plan, this landmark site is earmarked for redevelopment to remove the unsightly and unsafe undercroft and to infill the ground floor to accommodate a variety of potential new uses including retail, cafe, restaurant and coffee bars.”
John Bates, Head of Acquisitions, UK and Ireland, Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants, said:
“Premier Inn is one of the UK’s leading brands and we are expanding rapidly as we respond to strong demand from our customers for more Premier Inn bedrooms in great locations. We have more than 52,000 Premier Inn bedrooms across the country and we are continuing our record rate of expansion to achieve our goal of 65,000 bedrooms by 2016.
“We’re investing in projects right across the South and this latest deal adds to further hotels we are developing at Farnham, Farnborough, Gosport and Winchester. The new hotel at Portsmouth is in an ideal location with its proximity to the civic offices, university buildings and nearby shops and, subject to planning permission, we look forward to opening our doors to customers in 2014.”
Lambert Smith Hampton acted on behalf of LaSalle Investment Management for the hotel letting. Hughes Ellard is acting on behalf of LaSalle for the retail lettings. Peter Spelman Consultancy acted on behalf of Premier Inn. The development manager is Durngate Development Management.