Business Irish

Saturday 10 December 2016

Dragon plans to double size of his den

Niall O'Farrell's ambitious project and Westlife's Shane Filan's expansion plans show that the market still has a pulse

Published 10/01/2010 | 05:00

Neighbours at even the best addresses can fall out, but a spat between two business figures with houses on Shrewsbury Road, Dublin 4 seems to have been resolved.

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Fyffe's chairman David McCann has withdrawn his appeal against Dragon's Den judge and Black Tie clothing chain owner Niall O'Farrell, who plans to knock and rebuild his €7m house in the desirable Ballsbridge suburb.

Mr O'Farrell was granted planning permission to build a new three-storey 985 sq m home -- double the size of the original property.

"Shrewsbury Road is distinguished by an emphasis on secluded maturity. It is not a place for ostentatious braggadocio," observed Mr McCann in his original appeal submission, which said the plans meant his home could suffer loss of value.

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WESTLIFE star Shane Filan's development company is investing further in the nursing home business.

Shafin Developments has applied for approval for a second 50-bed facility with an investment of around €5m. The development firm owned by the singer and his brother Finbar recently received planning for an 80-bed nursing home in Filan's native Sligo.

There's a lot of developer interest in nursing homes lately, with developer brothers Charles and Greg Gallagher also seeking to build a nursing home facility in Sutton in North Dublin on a site they bought for €1.4m in 2006.

Along with hospitals it's one of the few areas left where financial sweeteners are still available.

"Capital allowances make nursing home development an attractive option," said Richard Keane of residential care consultants O'Cathain and Hynes. "Where other allowances have gone, this is one of the major ones left. The market is totally oversupplied in some parts of the country, however," he warned.

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Developer Larry Keegan's hopes to increase privacy at his Castleknock house have come a cropper with the local council. The permission he sought for a 1.8-metre high screen wall and metre-high decorative railings around the property has been refused.

Mr Keegan was recently named by fellow developer Bernard McNamara as one of the investors in the €400m purchase of the Irish Glass Bottle site. It's now worth just €60m.

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THE national preoccupation with no one knowing our business is even keener in this climate, and one estate agent is pushing this angle to attract those looking to sell quietly.

Sherry FitzGerald is advertising its Private Clients business with ads bearing the strapline 'Ssshhh!!!!'. It says interest among a pocket of high-profile clients keen to buy or sell property off market without 'for sale' signs and nosy viewings is growing.

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Superquinn's property vehicle interest Encap has seen the way cleared for a new store at the former AIB site Donnybrook House in Dublin 4. It has been granted change of use permission from banking hall/office to retail use.

It also has planning permission for retail accommodation, parking, restaurant and office space, and a gym/health club. AIB sold the site in 2006 for €25m.

Sunday Independent

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