MARLIN, a British hotel and serviced apartment group, is close to breaking ground on a €60m, 190-bedroom hotel in Dublin city centre. It aims to capitalise on a shortage of hotel rooms in the capital.

The seven-storey hotel will be built at Bow Lane East behind Stephen’s Green shopping centre, with joint access from Aungier Street. Marlin acquired the site about a year ago from investors, including the family that owns Fanagans funeral homes business.

The Fanagans-led group had secured planning for an eight-storey, 217-bedroom hotel in 2008 but the project was never developed. Marlin has just received permission from Dublin city council for a modified scheme, which is one floor lower and will have 27 fewer rooms.

A spokeswoman for Marlin said the group aimed to start work on the site in late spring, and the hotel should be open in 2018. It will employ about 100 people and will be operated by Marlin rather than a big-brand hotel group.

“We are very excited to be in Dublin,” the spokeswoman said. “We believe it is the place to be in the coming years.”

In planning documents, which refer to the Dublin project as the Dolphin, Marlin said the hotel would be a “bespoke, high-quality design” aimed mainly at business travellers. It will have an enclosed courtyard in the centre, but will not have leisure facilities or a swimming pool.

The group noted the shortage of hotel rooms in Dublin centre and said it was “keen to start construction to begin to deliver much-needed hotel bedrooms”. It said it had extensive experience in operating similar hotels throughout the world.

Marlin has more than 700 serviced apartments in six developments in central London and is building a 218-room hotel at Westminster, which is due to open next year. The company is owned by John Corless, an Irish businessman based in the UK, and run by Susan Cully, who is from Kildare.

A number of groups are planning hotel developments in Dublin. A 198-bedroom Holiday Inn Express is due to open at the former Findlater House on O’Connell Street before St Patrick’s Day.

The investment group Tetrarch Capital plans to spend €25m developing a 180-unit aparthotel near Trinity College and hotel group Dalata has said it wants to build new properties in the capital.