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Developers Mulryan and O'Reilly switch emphasis to family homes


Leading developers Sean Mulryan and Joe O'Reilly are changing their plans for projects in Dublin by jettisoning apartments in favour of "family-style'' homes which have held their value better since the crash.

Mr O'Reilly, the owner of the Dundrum Town Centre and a top 10 NAMA developer, is seeking to revise a previous planning permission for the latest section of the Adamstown development -- dropping plans for apartments and going instead with three-bed homes.

The application, from O'Reilly's Castlethorn Construction, has been made to South Dublin County Council, with a decision expected early next month.

The agent for the company refers to the changing landscape for housing in Dublin.

"One of the immediate challenges in Adamstown is maintaining the momentum of the early phases of development, to build up the critical mass of population,'' states Mahony Pike.

Adamstown must develop as "a permanent home for families" and not just a "transitional location for first-time buyers'', states the agent.

Castlethorn, the main contractor at Adamstown, is not the only company switching emphasis away from apartments to houses, with Sean Mulryan's Ballymore Residential also revising its plans.

A planning revision from that company includes proposals for 43 four-bedroom houses and several other larger houses at Wainsfort Manor Drive in Terenure, Dublin 6.

Dublin is currently suffering from an over development of apartments and it is understood NAMA, which is now supervising the plans of a large number of developers, is keen to see a re-balancing towards traditional family-style housing.

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The loans agency has its own large portfolio of apartments and will seek to offload some of them in 2012, using a new mortgage product that protects buyers from negative equity.

Mr O'Reilly and Mr Mulryan are two of the largest developers in the country, but both have reached early agreements with NAMA on their debts and assets. The two developers are reported to be working closely with NAMA on steps to get their leverage down.

Mr Mulryan's portfolio is heavily concentrated in the UK which is seen as attractive to the state agency. Mr Mulryan is developing a giant scheme at Nine Elms, London, which is going to allow Mr Mulryan to pay down debt and strengthen his balance sheet.

Dundrum, the largest shopping complex in Ireland, is believed to carry a lot of debt, but NAMA is said to be happy with trading at the centre. A large number of rental increases have been proposed in the first five-year rent review.

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