Sunday 22 October 2017

Fresh attempt to block 'murky' sale of three Priory Hall apartments

Exterior of the Development
Exterior of the Development

Robin Schiller

Dublin City Council is facing a fresh attempt to block the sale of apartments at the new Priory Hall complex.

Solidarity councillor Michael O’Brien proposed a motion this evening to stop the sale of two  apartments to NPH Avenue Investments Ltd and separately one apartment to the director of that company, Julie Gannon.

The three apartments, valued at between €145,000 and €160,000, were originally listed to be purchased by UK based Harley Holdings.

However, the Assistant Chief Executive recently stated that legal formalities have meant that the sale of the three apartments have not yet been completed.

He advised that they should instead be disposed under the name of Julie Gannon and NPH Avenue Investments, a company that was only established on December 16 last.

Deputy Chief Executive Brendan Kenny told the DCC meeting this evening that following a change in name of the purchaser, the matter was brought back to the council at the end of last year where the disposals were approved.

Solidarity Councillor Michael O'Brien
Solidarity Councillor Michael O'Brien

“This is a purchaser coming back with a change of name. It is not the case that the purchaser has withdrawn from it. It comes back to the city council for approval following a change in name,” Mr Kenny said.

Read More: In Pictures: New look for Priory Hall after complete refurbishment

Cllr O’Brien said he made “no apologies for restating basic principles that council owned units should be used for social and affordable housing”, and described the planned disposal of the three properties as “murky”.

“When the council does decide to privatise its stock it should show a preference for named individuals and families who intend buying in order to live in said units over investors.” 

A vote on the disposal of the three apartments has been deferred until next month’s meeting, when councillors hope to seek further clarification on the purchaser and transaction.

The first phase of the New Priory development, which has been refurbished at the taxpayers expense went on sale last year and raised some €7m in revenue.

The sales come more than five years after the complex was condemned by fire safety inspectors and evacuated by court order.

The revamped Priority Hall complex
The revamped Priority Hall complex

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