Irish

Thursday 31 July 2014

The Punt: Portmarnock seafront view far from ideal

Published 06/06/2014|02:30

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The Portmarnock Links Hotel, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin

Having just agreed to splash out close to €30m to buy the Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links in north Dublin, Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate has pledged fresh capital investment in the property and to hire a hotel operator for the unbranded premises.

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It all sounds great, and the location is eye-popping, with a beach, views of Howth and the Dublin Mountains, and part of the hotel having been the ancestral home of the Jameson whiskey family.

But the new owner will be hoping that the Garda and Fingal County Council manage to play their part. Last year as the heatwave first hit, the Punt ventured for an early Monday walk.

The beach beside the hotel resembled the site of a chaotic mass evacuation, strewn with clothing, towels, food, disposable barbeques, bottles, cans, used nappies and a various assortment of other items left behind from Sunday.

Horrified hotel guests stumbled upon the scene, cameras in hand.

Meanwhile, a cohort of the influx of beachgoers over the summer hurled verbal abuse (as well as objects) at golfers.

Just the kind of thing that would make sure the hotel visitors would never be interested in returning.

The new owners will be able to spend all the money they like on their hotel. They'll have to be on the ball if the weather heats up though.

 

NAMA 'should sell small lots'

After years of complaints that it was too slow to sell, NAMA is getting it in the neck for selling too much.

The chief executive of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV) Pat Davitt wants the agency to rethink its policy of selling off huge chunks of properties.

He would rather see those homes sold in single, or at least small lots, to individuals, and wants legislation to allow Dublin City Council to introduce a levy on vacant sites to drive house building activity. Those deals, like the IBRC liquidation assets, are going to international moneybags who are building up major investment portfolios here.

What has Mr Davitt out of sorts is that some of those sales are of large tranches and are residential including houses and apartments.

He'd rather see those homes sold in single or small lots to individuals.

A case in point was the upcoming sale of 500 units built by Liam Carroll in Tallaght, he said.

With the lack of housing in focus, the auctioneering boss also wants legislation to allow Dublin City Council introduce a levy on vacant sites in Dublin city.

"Dublin Inner City has a huge amount of land, estimated at some 170 acres – the size of a good country golf course – in vacant sites between the two canals," he said.

The IPAV is launching a lobbying campaign aimed at public representatives where its members will be asked to drive home the message that a shift is needed to bring on supply.

 

Casey in US start-up deal

Cork-based tech manufacturing magnate Liam Casey has struck a deal with one of the largest electronics chains in the US to develop tech hardware start-up firms.

The deal, agreed between Mr Casey's PCH and 2,000-store RadioShack, will see inventors and start-ups gain access to accelerated production and distribution processes through RadioShack stores and its retail website.

"Every day we talk to start-ups and see new products," said Mr Casey. "But the retail model, which demands large capital in the channel, doesn't typically work for start-ups and this hurts innovation.

"Together with the RadioShack team, we looked at removing the barriers that prevent unique products from getting on to shelves and as a result created a partnership that supports product innovation."

Mr Casey has built up one of the largest independent outsourced manufacturing firms in China, taking orders from technology giants such as Apple for the production of electronic goods.

Irish Independent

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