Monday 25 September 2017

Anglo 'Maple 10' builder Reilly plans huge Dublin scheme

Sean Reilly aiming to build mix of 164 houses and apartments. Photo: Courtpix
Sean Reilly aiming to build mix of 164 houses and apartments. Photo: Courtpix
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A COMPANY owned by Sean Reilly, one of the so-called Maple 10 of developers who bought shares in Anglo Irish Bank as it teetered on the verge of collapse, has applied for planning permission for a huge multi-million euro housing and retail development in north Dublin.

Station Construction plans to build a mix of 164 houses and apartments, as well as two supermarkets, a gym, petrol station, takeaways and drive-through restaurant at a site in Lusk, which will be a material addition to the town.

Station Construction is owned entirely by Mr Reilly via Isle of Man and other Irish companies.

Station Construction has been involved in talks with Fingal County Council regarding the seven hectare site since 2009. Mr Reilly's firm, McGarrell Reilly, has also been involved in those discussions.

The plan calls for 83 houses and 73 apartments, as well as a total of 13,146 sq m of retail, commercial and community space. A 4,324 sq m anchor retail store will be built as part of the scheme, as well as a 1,660 sq m discount food store.

Consultants for Station Construction have argued that retail development in the north Dublin town has "seriously lagged" residential construction. There is an existing SuperValu in Lusk, as well as a convenience store.

Socialist TD Clare Daly has voiced her opposition to the plan. She maintains in an objection lodged with Fingal County Council that McGarrell Reilly should first remedy what she claims are shortcomings on a previous development by the company in the area before Station Construction is granted any planning permission for a new scheme.

She also insisted that the proposed development is "out of proportion" for the site it's planned for, and will have a "profoundly deleterious effect" on the quality of life of local residents.

Local Labour councillor Ken Farrell has also objected to the proposed development in a one-line email to Fingal County Council, but has not detailed what his specific objections are.

Mr Reilly was one of 10 developers tapped by Anglo in the summer of 2008 to help Sean Quinn unwind his disastrous stake in the bank, which he'd accumulated via contracts-for-difference.

Mr Reilly was among those who testified at the Anglo Irish Bank trial in 2014, where the bank's former chairman and chief executive, Sean FitzPatrick, was found not guilty of providing unlawful assistance to the so-called Maple 10 to buy shares in the bank, contrary to Section 60 of the Companies Act.

Former Anglo executives William McAteer and Pat Whelan were also charged on the same counts at the same trial and were found guilty of giving the loans to the Maple 10. They were each sentenced to 240 hours of community service.

During the trial, Mr Reilly told the court that he met Mr Whelan and former Anglo chief executive David Drumm, who asked him to buy up to €60m worth of a share position in the bank, or 1pc of the institution. Mr Reilly agreed, and under the deal he would end up having to pay €12.5m if the shares ended up being worthless.

Mr Reilly owed approximately €300m to Anglo when the bank bit the dust and his loans went to Nama.

He unsuccessfully tried to buy back those loans. He'd been reportedly trying to buy them for about €200m. The loans were sold to Lone Star for €220m in 2014. Lone Star later sold on the bulk of the assets connected to those loans - including the Iveagh Court Complex in Dublin - for €350m to a REIT controlled by Starwood.

Irish Independent

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