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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Nama's 'beacon' of hope for apartment complex

Published 16/12/2012 | 05:00

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CONCEIVED at the height of the boom, the Beacon South Quarter was supposed to be a "world showcase nationally and internationally" for modern living and working.

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Since the crash of 2008, however, the skeleton of an unfinished apartment block by Landmark Developments has stood out stubbornly on the Sandyford skyline in south Dublin as a grim reminder of Celtic Tiger hubris.

Thankfully, the concrete carcass won't be there for much longer thanks to a recent decision by Nama. So, while former Landmark chief Paddy Shovlin runs down the clock on his bankruptcy in the UK, John Paul Construction will be sending workers in to the Beacon South Quarter in January to finish off the apartment building, removing the nasty blot the developer, famed for his love of racing Ferraris, left on the south Dublin landscape.

While Nama's proposed €11m investment in the completion of the Sandyford development had been flagged a number of months ago, the news that the agency is finally putting boots on the ground will be greeted with a collective sigh of relief by those already living in the Beacon's other apartment blocks.

Before the crash, Mr Shovlin had ambitious plans for a €500m development. Those plans were effectively put on hold for good, however, in October 2010 when he and his fellow Landmark directors, Pat and Anthony Fitzpatrick, achieved the unhappy distinction of being the first developers against whom Nama secured orders in the Commercial Court for the repayment of debt.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly granted Nama judgements of €25m against Mr Shovlin and €22m each against the Fitzpatrick brothers on foot of personal guarantees they had given on a €277.6m refinancing loan from the Bank of Ireland for the Beacon South Quarter.

All three men declared bankruptcy in the UK this year.

Sunday Independent

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