| 3.5°C Dublin

NAMA goes out to view Naas Millennium Park development

NAMA has begun its final examination of the business plan submitted for the Millennium Park development in Naas, which was one of the biggest deals of the boom, costing €315m for 417 acres.

Accountants Deloitte are advising the three developers behind the project and NAMA officials have gone to Naas, Co Kildare, to do site inspections.

The three have given guarantees over €120m of the borrowings, one of the largest guarantees ever given by a group of developers.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Gerry Prendergast, one of the three developers, said if developers became obsessed about the size of the guarantees, "we wouldn't be any use to anyone''.

If people were prepared "to get around the table", the project was still viable and could create as much as 8,000 jobs, he said. Transport links were available and the site had a fibre optic network, Mr Prendergast added.

He said the developers were prepared to "work out" the project and make sure the taxpayer got back as much money as possible. The land was purchased with finance from AIB, Irish Nationwide and Anglo Irish.


It is understood that under the plan submitted, the developers are proposing to work out the project over a 10-year time frame, preferably with a joint venture partner.

Several companies are based at offices on the site, including State Street and the HSE, but there are another 156 fully serviced acres available for leasing.

Mr Prendergast said it was unfair to compare the purchase to those made in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, at the tail end of the boom. "This site is far, far bigger," he said.

The site is being valued again for the company that owns most of it, Osberstown Developments Ltd.

The loans went from the banks to NAMA in the second tranche of transfers. The precise discount is not known and the three developers -- Mr Prendergast, Tom Considine and Paddy Sweeney -- are still liable for all the monies owed.

NAMA has several options open to it in relation to the site. While income is being generated from buildings on site, NAMA could call in the loans and enforce personal guarantees on the developers.

A receiver could take over the site and either hoard the assets or sell them. However, so far NAMA has been slow to do this, except in a few cases, particularly where it is not getting co-operation from borrowers.

Irish Independent