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€1.5bn plan to build homes near airport

A DRAMATIC increase in new homes in Dublin is on the way with a plan to build 3,000 units near Dublin Airport.

Comer Homes is to spend €1.5bn developing a 210 acre site between the airport and the M50.

Luke Comer, co-founder of the international company, said the 3,000 homes will be a major help in addressing the acute shortage of houses in the capital.

As hard-pressed couples find it increasingly difficult to find an affordable home in the city, an estimated 36,000 new city homes are needed to meet demand over the next four years.


The company also plans to build a science park and a manufacturing centre on the vast site.

Mr Comer said it was "the most strategic piece of real estate in Europe".

The company intends to begin building as soon as planning permission is granted.

Those who buy homes in the development will be able to get a Metro train into the city when the planned rail service is built.

The 3,000 homes will cover 15 million square feet of land and be bordered on either side by a row of commercial space and light manufacturing.

Brothers Luke and Brian Comer, natives of Glenamaddy, Co Galway, bought the tract of land earlier this year. It was valued at around €250m in 2008.

The businessmen will not need to put finance in place to fund construction as they can pay for it using cash-flow from their existing property portfolio, they said.

The Comers bought several prime assets in recent months, including the Kilternan hotel and golf course. The Comers bought the site, built up by the late Hugh O'Regan for around €170m, for a rumoured €7.5m. They plan to open the Kilternan property within 18 months.

"It is very nearly finished, there is not much left to do," said group chairman Brian Comer.

They have also bought the Palmerstown Demesne and golf course near Naas, Co Kildare, formerly owned by Jim Mansfield, and a portfolio of 640 apartments in Dublin and Cork from Ulster Bank at a reported 70pc discount.


They plan to turn some of these units, around Dublin's Island Quay, into a large hotel and office space.

Luke and Brian Comer, whose group assets are worth €2.5bn, started their careers in the 1970s as plasterers before moving into property development.

They built up a significant business in the UK in the 1980s and later began building in Germany. They began buying up property in Ireland four years ago.