Monday 23 September 2019

Wallace calls for a halt to apartments sale by Nama

Mick Wallace TD
Mick Wallace TD

Ronald Quinlan Commercial Property Editor

Independent Deputy Mick Wallace has called for Nama's sale of 124 apartments in the Dublin docklands to be suspended.

Concerned tenants at the North Bank development contacted the Wexford politician after reading media reports last Wednesday that their entire block was being offered for sale by receivers acting on the instruction of the State's so-called bad bank.

News of the proposed transaction came just five days after the tenants received letters from their landlord informing them that their homes had been sold to Nama. The communication added that Nama would now be issuing a 12-month lease on current terms.

Nama replied to an enquiry about the matter from the TD, saying: "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."

"This is frightening," responded Mr Wallace said. "We are in the middle of a housing crisis, and Nama are now buying apartments to sell them on to vulture funds. Nama have become property speculators. It beggars belief that Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour, and now even Sinn Féin, believe Nama have the expertise to solve our housing crisis. Nama are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

"What makes it 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?"

The 124 units at North Bank were brought to the market last week along with a commercial unit for a guide price of €33m. North Bank is just 200 metres from the new Central Bank headquarters and 550 metres from the IFSC.

Built by Liam Carroll's Zoe Developments in 2007, the block is being sold by Hooke & MacDonald on the instruction of Nama-appointed receiver David Carson of Deloitte.

A spokesman for Nama said: "A Nama company bought seven 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."

Irish Independent

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