Boom-era builders eye Dublin venture
Two of Ireland's largest boom-time developers are aiming to build over 200 homes in South Dublin as part of a multi-million euro development.
Durkan Estates, the residential development arm of UK-focused construction firm Durkan Group, and Kelland Homes, the Irish housebuilder founded by the late Paddy Kelly, have submitted a joint planning application to South Dublin County Council for permission to build 218 homes in the Boherboy neighbourhood in Saggart.
The homes would be three and four-bedroom two-storey buildings. The development would also include a creche.
Kelland Homes was one of Dublin's largest housebuilders over the past 40 years before the economic crash. It constructed thousands of houses over the years, mainly in Clondalkin, Tallaght and Rathfarnham, and was noted for its high quality of work.
The business helped make Mr Kelly a multi-millionaire during the boom years. Even after the downturn Mr Kelly made it onto the UK property Rich List. In 2010 UK property magazine 'Estates Gazette' estimated his net worth to be £90m.
Durkan Group was reportedly the first major developer to pay off its Nama loans. In 2012 it reportedly decided to pay off about €40m in Nama bank loans, which were said to be performing well, rather than deal with the State agency. The company, which was founded by Bill Durkan in 1963, became one of the largest builders of affordable housing in the south-east of England and built hundreds of houses around Dublin before the crash.
The joint application filed to the council states that the proposed development would consist of two adjoining sites.
Kelland Homes would build 111 homes on one side of the site, while Durkan Estates would build 107 on the other. It is understood that the cost of development would likely run into tens of millions of euros.
A spokesman for Durkan New Homes, the Irish arm of the UK group, said that the development does not mark the beginning of a wider partnership between the two companies.
"Durkan Estates owns the parcel of land to the left of the development and Kellan owns the bit to the right so a joint application made sense," he said. "It is just for this project [the two companies working together]".
It is envisaged that construction work could start at some stage this year if there are no issues regarding planning.
"If there are no third party appeals and we were approved straight off we could get permission in about four to five months, although we would of course provision in case we had to go to An Bord Pleanála [but] I would imagine we could see construction in 2016," the Durkan Estates spokesman added.
Kelland Homes did not respond to a request for comment.