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O'Reilly pressing ahead with massive Adamstown project

ONE of NAMA's biggest developers, Joe O'Reilly, is pressing on with his Adamstown scheme despite the steep downturn in the housing market since 2007.

Mr O'Reilly's housebuilding firm, Castlethorn Construction, has made a fresh planning application to build another 177 houses and apartments in the scheme located in Lucan.


According to South Dublin County Council, this is the first planning application for the scheme submitted since the latter half of 2009.

Castlethorn wants to build the houses on a 3.98 hectare site, known as Adamstown Square 3, which contains 1,684sqm of public space. O'Reilly's firm said the application was being made in accordance with an overall planning scheme for Adamstown, agreed in 2003.

"The development will take place entirely within the boundaries of the Adamstown strategic development zone,'' explains the Castlethorn application, submitted shortly before Christmas to the local council.

Adamstown is a planned urban development of 10,000 residential units with associated transport and community infrastructure. According to the council, Adamstown is based around "walkable neighbourhoods located in close proximity to high quality public transport linkages''.

Adamstown is one of the most ambitious schemes ever tried in Dublin. The presence of Castlethorn, which signed a long-term contract to deliver the accommodation at the site, is crucial.

Mr O'Reilly is one of the most indebted developers in the market but has some major assets, including the Dundrum Town Centre and the Pavilions shopping centre in Swords, north Dublin.

He has, like other developers, submitted a detailed business plan to NAMA and is awaiting their approval. Enforcement action against his companies is thought unlikely. Mr O'Reilly has used a range of lenders for different projects, from banks like Anglo Irish to private syndicates of investors rounded up by some of the Dublin stockbrokers.

A progress report on the site from October shows that 3,428 houses are allowed within Adamstown, with 1,384 units started and 1,162 units occupied. The idea of Adamstown is that housing is built in phases, allowing infrastructure to be brought on gradually. For example, at present there are three schools in Adamstown -- two primary schools and a secondary school.

Irish Independent