NAMA receivers take control of site in West End
RECEIVERS acting for NAMA have been appointed to take control of the Odeon West End Cinema site on Leicester Square in London, a project once reckoned to be worth €250m. The site is owned by Irish developers Pat Whelan, Paul Hanby and Pat Chesser.
NAMA has already moved against well-known Limerick businessmen Mr Whelan and Mr Chesser when it appointed Kieran Wallace of KPMG as receiver over their landmark Clarion Hotel in the heart of Limerick city.
That happened in March as part of the bigger swoop on assets linked to property developer Paddy Kelly, an investor in the Clarion Hotel chain.
It came after company accounts for their Steamboat Developments firm revealed that the loss-making company had been in talks with NAMA on preparing a business plan.
It has now emerged that NAMA has appointed Jon Gershinson and Simon Davidson of property group Allsops as joint fixed charge receivers over the London site, which spans Leicester Square, Orange Street and St Martin's Street in the heart of the West End.
In 2008, the developers secured planning permission from Westminster City Council to redevelop the Odeon site into a 220,000 square foot scheme, including a two-screen cinema, a 245-bedroom hotel, 33 flats and five restaurants.
Permission was granted after the owners agreed to almost double their contribution to affordable housing in the city to £1.3m, though Westminster City Council then hived off £500,0000 of the funds to spruce up Leicester Square ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
NAMA is keen to sell off overseas properties in markets where there is good demand for investment property, including London.