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Falmouth hotel with development plans to be sold for £20m

03 July 2015 by
Falmouth hotel with development plans to be sold for £20m

St Michaels hotel & spa in Falmouth, which has planning permission to be transformed into a 92-bedroom hotel with 73 apartments, has been put up for sale with offers being sought in excess of £20m.

The four-AA-star property, which currently has 61 bedrooms, is being sold by Nigel and Julie Carpenter, alongside an opportunity to develop the Old County Hall in Truro into a 42-bedroom luxury hotel with a spa, for £3m. It is expected that a further £5m-£6m will be required to undertake the conversion of the second property, which previously housed the offices of Cornwall County Council.

Both properties are being marketed by JLL and Stephen Page Associates.

Carpenter said he has been talking to a number of banks regarding the development of both sites, but had now decided to "test the water" and explore selling the properties or forming a joint venture to take the projects forward.

"Frankly, in order to make the schemes happen, I need to involve other parties," he explained. "Although I have a great relationship with the banks, I would need to put every last penny I own on the line to fund the development.

"The most important thing is to see the plans come to fruition. I may or may not be involved in the future."

Located adjacent to Gyllyngvase Beach with view over Falmouth Bay, St Michaels was acquired by the Carpenters in 2001 as a "tired and dilapidated" hotel from Corus and Regal. They have since spent £5.5m on refurbishing it, reducing it from 65 to 61 bedrooms, transforming the gym and swimming pool into a health club and spa, which today has 1,200 members, and adding the 76-cover Flying Fish restaurant, overlooking the sub-tropical gardens.

The opportunity to expand the property came when Carpenter acquired the adjacent three-AA-star, 120-bedroom Falmouth Beach hotel in 2013, nearly a year after it suffered extensive damage in a fire.

Meanwhile, the go-ahead has also been given to extend St Michaels to 92 bedrooms, with a new health club for up to 2,500 members created within the former Falmouth Beach hotel.

Carpenter had hoped to start work on the ambitious project in November 2016, with completion by September 2019.

Michael Easton, associate director at JLL, said St Michaels has established itself as one of "the very best hotels" in the south west of England.

"The owners have created a brand that signifies quality relaxed coastal living and have worked hard to create an overall vision for the larger site in years to come, which will provide for first-class hotel and conference accommodation, premium residential living and leisure space.

"The position is second to none and, with the sensitive residential development, we have no doubt that this will create huge interest in the market. The award-winning team behind St Michaels are very much part of the vision and it will be business as usual whilet we deal with the inward investment needed to take this great hotel into its next transition. We expect global interest."

Nigel Carpenter, added: "This is a very special place and a wonderful opportunity to create a 'best in class' spa resort and lifestyle development. It has been a labour of love these past 14 years building an exceptional hotel and spa from the tired, worn-out property I inherited. Our outstanding staff and management team are excited by the future plans."

Looking for a job? See all the current hotel vacancies available with The Caterer Jobs >>Blaze-hit Falmouth Beach hotel bought by owners of nearby hotel >>

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