Sales bells ringing for west Cork holiday complex

NEIL JORDAN might have filmed his award-wining mythical movie Ondine starring Colin Farrell in west Cork’s scenic Castletownbere – but not all fairytales come true in CastleDown Dere.

The remarkable re-birth of the area’s Puxley mansion, Dunboy Castle, has hit a funding wall with work stopped on the significantly restored building, back in effect from the grave, but needing a new kiss of life to bring to vitality.

And, now, a suitor is sought for a discounted west Cork holiday complex set up with the wedding trade (fairytale turned reality?) in mind.

The Whelyn Lodges, three miles from Castletownbere and with 800 metres of Beara shoreline frontage, is in receivership, after developers Coolfadda went bust last year with debts of over €30 million. It went into liquidation last autumn, and a series of its development are now lining up for forced sales.

The asset sale of the Whelyn Lodges, for ACC Bank, will see 15 three-bed lodges and a honeymoon suite (presumably a one-bed?) plus 4,000 sq ft function room, heli-pad, and more all going for sale by tender in mid-May.

Price guide? It is likely to be less than half of its reputed €6 million development cost – think c €2.5 million ballpark for the entire, lock, stock and barrel, and ready to trade, according to receivers KPMG.

Bandon-based Coolfadda operated primarily in County Cork and Kenmare in Co Kerry, and their supporting banks included AIB, ACC, Bank of Scotland and Bank of Ireland.

Extremely well-finished, the complex three miles from Castletownbere and 100 miles from Cork city has to be bought in one lot, and according to its grant of planing permission, it has to be operated as a business. It may well be a good ‘fit’ with an existing tourism product operator who can add it to stable of rental units in the region.

Like Dunboy, Whelyn Lodges was a tax-incentivised tourism product, and its sale comes with unspecified capital allowances. Joint selling agents are Colliers Jackson Stops, and Cohalan Downing, seeking offers by tender by May l2.

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