Confidence hotel could sell although hammer failed to fall

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THE Portland Hotel in Southsea has failed to sell at auction despite a high level of interest.

The disused, Grade-II listed hotel in Kent Road, pictured, had a starting price of £1.5m.

When bidders at the Clive Emson property and land auction at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton yesterday remained silent, the hammer did not go down.

Despite lowering the starting price of the sale to £1.2m, and bids coming in from two prospective new owners over the phone, no offers for the owner’s accepted price came in.

Rob Marchant, the auctioneer tasked with finding a new owner for the hotel, said there had been considerable interest in the building.

After the auction, he said: ‘I think we are disappointed it did not sell in the room, but there has been a good deal of interest in the run-up.

‘Several of those who went to visit the site have been in the room today.

‘We are quietly confident that we can put something together and get a sale over the next few days

‘If we are unable to sell it, the owners are going to redevelop the property themselves.

‘That is what we believe will happen if we cannot sell it for them.’

The site has a number of planning permissions attached to it, including for a boutique hotel and flats.

Councillor Luke Stubbs, Portsmouth City Council cabinet member planning and regeneration and a Southsea ward member, said before the auction: ‘The Portland Hotel is a special building and by far the better outcome for the area would be for it to be used as a hotel.’

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