Monday 25 September 2017

DDDA takes legal action against developer Crosbie

Point Village
Point Village
Harry Crosbie pictured with U2 frontman Bono at an event at Cafe H at the Grand Canal Dock
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

THE Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) has initiated legal action against prominent developer Harry Crosbie and two Point Village companies that are under NAMA-backed receivership.

The DDDA, which is to be wound up by the Government in the wake of the controversial Irish Glass Bottle site purchase, has issued High Court proceedings seeking summary judgment – the first legal step to recover a debt.

As well as Mr Crosbie, two Point village companies have been named: Point Village Company Limited and the Point Village Development Limited.

It potentially puts the state agency at odds with NAMA, which is also state-owned and effectively controls the two companies through receivers.

NAMA-appointed receivers Paul McCann and Stephen Tennent took control of the Point Village, beside the O2 concert arena and the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin's Docklands, in April, effectively stripping the property developer and impresario of two of his most high-profile interests over debts of about €450m.

NAMA declined to comment and directed the Irish Independent to the receivers. The receivers also declined to comment.

The €800m Point Village comprises retail outlets, apartments, the Odeon Cinema and the Gibson Hotel. It sits alongside arguably Mr Crosbie's flagship interest, the O2 concert arena, which is a separate entity and was not included in the move by NAMA.

It was the latest challenge to the impresario, who has been involved in much of the development and regeneration of the Docklands, either as property businesses or entertainment venues.

Damning

The Government is winding up the DDDA on foot of its role in the controversial 2006 purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site and a damning report from the Comptroller and Auditor General on the authority's conduct at the time.

Last year NAMA "forgave" some of the DDDA's debts dating back to the investment but only after picking the rival state agency clean of many of its prime Dublin sites.

The 25-acre glass bottle site in Ringsend was bought for more than €400m in 2006 in one of the biggest deals of the building boom. It has since been revalued at about a tenth of that price.

It was bought by Becbay, a consortium headed by property developer Bernard McNamara which included Derek Quinlan and the DDDA as investors.

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