Irish News

Wednesday 30 July 2014

State pays rent millions to NAMA developers

Cormac McQuinn

Published 12/12/2011|05:00

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THE State is paying millions of euro in rent to big developers whose loans have ended up in NAMA.

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An examination of the Office of Public Works's Lease Expenditure for 2009 and 2010 shows how some of NAMA's top clients landed lucrative state tenants during the boom years.

Broke developer Liam Carroll was listed as one of the State's biggest landlords with leases on properties owned by him or his companies such as Danninger and Alexion Prop Co totalling more than €13m over the two years.

His property portfolio included a block of buildings on Dublin's Abbey Street which are occupied by the Director of Public Prosecutions, among others, and commanded rent last year of more than €3m.

Earlier this year NAMA appointed a receiver to Mr Carroll's empire to help secure repayment on loans of about €650m. Several companies associated with Bernard McNamara also featured on the list of the state's landlords.

His former company Belltrap, which is now in receivership, was the listed landlord of offices at Bishop's Square, Dublin 2.

OPW records show lease expenditure of €11.2m over 2009 and 2010 on the offices, which house staff from the Revenue Commissioners and the Departments of Justice and Social Protection.

Mr McNamara's main company, Michael McNamara Co, was placed in receivership in November 2010 at NAMA's request; while Mr O'Reilly's company, Jeremiah O'Reilly & Associates, is reported to have transferred its debts to NAMA last year.

Mr O'Reilly and fellow developers David Courtney and Terry Sweeney are directors of Pecan Properties, which earned more than €5m over two years leasing offices to the gardai on Harcourt Street.

Builder Ray Grehan, who, along with his brother Daniel was last month ordered to repay debts of more than €300m to NAMA, was listed as the landlord of Department of Agriculture offices in Maynooth, Co Kildare, in 2010.

The records show that lease expenditure amounted to more than €2m over two years.

Mr Grehan famously bought the former Veterinary College site in Ballsbridge for more than €170m six years ago.

Boom

At €85.75m an acre, the purchase was the most paid by any developer for land in Dublin during the boom years.

Cosgrave Property Group -- which is run by brothers Peter, Michael and Joseph Cosgrave, and continues to trade after the transfer of loans to NAMA -- leases offices to a number of state agencies in Blanchardstown at a cost of €1.3m over the two years. Dublin docklands supremo Harry Crosbie's companies leased two properties to the state at a cost of more than €1.5m in 2009 and 2010.

Mr Crosbie recently admitted that he could not have finished his Point Village and Grand Canal Theatre projects without loans from NAMA. Combined OPW lease expenditure for all of the properties it rented in 2009 and 2010 was €285m.

Irish Independent

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