NAMA has moved to halt the sale of a New York apartment beside the Rockefeller Centre, owned by developer Ray Grehan and his wife, which could fetch almost $1m if sold.
The agency, which is already pursuing Mr Grehan's assets in Canada, is seeking "emergency and provisional relief'' from the courts in New York to halt the sale, saying it should get the proceeds if the property is disposed. The agency has an existing Irish judgment against Mr Grehan for €269m.
The Irish Independent understands Mr Grehan has sought to sell the property and contact about the transaction has taken place between his representatives and NAMA. However, NAMA appears to be objecting to the sale going ahead.
The property would sell for about $950,000, and the mortgage on the asset -- from AIB -- is understood to come to less than $300,000, leaving generous proceeds once the deal has been completed.
As a result, NAMA is pushing for the New York courts to effectively stop the transaction. It has made an ex-parte application through a US law firm, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf. The property is located at West 48th Street, beside Rockefeller Centre, in an area known as Rockefeller plaza. The development is called the Centria Condominium unit.
The apartment was purchased in May 2007 for $1.38m and is one of the newer projects in that area of central Manhattan. Mr Grehan confirmed last night the apartment was owned by him and his wife, but declined to comment any further at this time. He is expected to instruct his own legal advisors about the NAMA move.
Mr Grehan also owns an apartment at One Hyde Park in central London, which NAMA is trying to sell and take the proceeds to pay down the Grehan debts. Mr Grehan, however, has rejected the agency's claim that he owns the apartment personally, claiming it is owned by a trust for the benefit of his family.
Mr Grehan had signed a memorandum of understanding with NAMA late last year, but this did not stop the agency from taking enforcement action.
NAMA insisted upon bank executive Mr Harry Slowey joining the board of Grehan's companies and this caused some tension between the two sides. A judgment has also been registered against Mr Grehan's brother Danny.