Saturday 21 September 2019

Mick Wallace calls for €33m sale of Dublin Docklands apartments to be halted

The 124 apartments at the North Bank scheme were brought to the market earlier this week
The 124 apartments at the North Bank scheme were brought to the market earlier this week
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Independent TD Mick Wallace has called on the Government to suspend the sale by Nama of 124 apartments in the Dublin docklands.

Concerned tenants at the North Bank development contacted the Wexford politician after learning two days ago, from a newspaper report, that their entire apartment block was being offered for sale by receivers acting on the instruction of the State’s so-called ‘bad bank’.

News of the proposed sale came just five days after the tenants in question had received letters from their landlord to inform that their apartments had been sold to Nama. The communication, which was sent to the tenants last Friday, added that Nama would now be issuing a 12-month lease on current terms.

Contacted by Deputy Wallace for information on the matter, Nama issued a response, stating that: "The recent purchases by NAMA were required to consolidate the entire block, hence increasing the value of the overall property in preparation for its sale as a single lot."

Commenting on Nama’s move, Mr Wallace said: "This is a frightening development.

"We are in the middle of a housing crisis, and Nama are now buying apartments, in order to sell them on to vulture funds. Nama have now become property speculators. It beggars belief that Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Labour, and now even Sinn Fein, believe that Nama have the expertise to solve our housing crisis. Nama are part of the problem, not part of the solution."

He added: "What makes it even worse is, tenants have informed me that within the apartment block, there are vacant units, some sitting idle for over three years.

"How can Nama justify this when we are struggling with a Housing Crisis? These apartments, along with the rest in the block, will be no doubt purchased by a US vulture fund, and rented out for outrageous prices. Clearly, doing business with vulture funds, is more attractive to Nama than helping to fix the housing crisis."

The 124 apartments at the North Bank scheme were brought to the market earlier this week along with a large commercial unit for a guide price of €33m. North Bank is located just 200 metres from the new Central Bank Headquarters and 550m from the IFSC.

Built by Liam Carroll's Zoe Developments prior to the crash, the scheme is being sold by agent Hooke & MacDonald on the instruction of Nama-appointed statutory receiver, David Carson of Deloitte.

There are 31 one-bed, 64 two-bed and 29 three-bed apartments being offered in the sale. The combined current rent from existing tenancies and estimated rental value (ERV) of the apartments currently in the course of being let amounts to approximately €2.325m per annum.

Contacted for comment on the matter, a spokesman for Nama said: "A NAMA company bought 7 of the 124 units. In these cases tenants whose leases are coming to an end are being offered a 12-month lease on their current terms."

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