Wednesday 21 August 2019

Nama wants €125m up front to hand huge Poolbeg West site to developer

The development on the old Glass Bottle site will have 3,500 homes and one million square feet of commercial space.
The development on the old Glass Bottle site will have 3,500 homes and one million square feet of commercial space.
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Nama is seeking at least €125m for an 80pc stake in the huge Poolbeg West development scheme in Dublin, according to documents prepared for bidders.

The development on the old Glass Bottle site will have 3,500 homes and one million square feet of commercial space.

The Dublin 4 scheme on the edge of the Dublin docks will be among the biggest ever in the country.

Nama has formally invited expressions of interest from developers, who will get an 80pc stake in Pembroke Ventures DAC, the company set up to develop the 37.2-acre site.

Nama will get €125m up front, while a developer or consortium will take on the construction project.

Sean Mulryan's Ballymore Group and stock market-listed builder Glenveagh are known to be interested in the scheme. International players like Hines are likely to look too.

The plan includes setting aside 10pc of the housing units for social housing and 15pc for what is described as social and affordable housing. Nama will retain a 20pc stake in the project.

The site is within the Poolbeg West Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), which is eligible for planning under fast-track zoning rules.

The planning scheme for the SDZ was formally adopted by An Bord Pleanála in April 2019 and facilitates a mechanism for the fast-tracking of planning applications for development.

The huge site close to landmarks like the Poolbeg chimneys and the Aviva Stadium has been vacant and in effective State control for well over a decade.

Before Nama took over loans backed by the site, most of it had been controversially bought in 2006 for €400m by a consortium including State agency the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) with loans from Anglo Irish Bank.

The deal was a who's-who of the Celtic Tiger. Developer Bernard McNamara and financier Derek Quinlan joined the consortium to buy the site with the DDDA, whose then chairman Lar Bradshaw and then director Sean Fitzpatrick both also sat on the Anglo Irish Bank board.

Businessman Paul Coulson, whose Ardgah Group had its roots in Dublin Glass and taxpayer-owned Dublin Port split the proceeds of the €411m sale. Mr Coulson's company was the site's leaseholder and Dublin Port owned the freehold.

The site was later valued at as little €35m after the crash. Development plans have moved at a sometimes glacial pace.

The housing is unlikely to be ready to move into for at least another three years.

Irish Independent

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