Developer's major plans for Dublin

Simon Brouder

A Kerry developer is reported to be behind plans to build up to 1,800 new apartments in Dublin.

In a deal which would be the first of its kind in Ireland - and one of the largest since the property crash - developer Pat Crean's Marlet Property Group is expected to offer up to 1,800 apartments to the global investment market.

Mr Crean is well known in Kerry thanks to his involvement with Sherry Fitzgerald Stephenson Crean's auctioneers in Tralee.

The 'forward funding' deal is expected to be worth over €500 million and involves plans for extensive apartment developments on six prime sites in Dublin.

Forward funding is essentially an agreement whereby an institutional investor agrees to buy a completed development before or during the construction phase.

While forward funding of commercial schemes is long established practice, this will be the first time that large residential developments have been offered in this manner.

The sites involved in the plan are understood to form part of an extensive portfolio of sites that were assembled by Mr Crean and his former business partner Greg Kavanagh during their time together at the helm of New Generation Homes.

Mr Crean and Mr Kavanagh's partnership came to an end in October 2016 and the majority of the property assets owned by New Generation transferred to Marlet Property Group which is headed by Mr Crean.

Marlet also retained the backing of New Generation's funders the international asset management firm M&G Investments.

In recent years M&G - which is a subsidiary of US insurance giant Prudential - had been New Generation's sole backer providing finance for its building and acquisitions.

Pat Crean worked with Greg Kavanagh since 2011 when New Generation Homes began speculatively acquiring sites around the capital at prices far below their boom-era peak values.

Media coverage of New Generation Homes indicates that the company has spent up to €300 million buying up development lands since 2011.

The six sites reportedly included in Marlet's 'forward funding' plan would offer between 1,200 and 1,800 apartments which would be built between 2018 and 2020 for eventual offering on the long term rental market.

Following the end his partnership with Mr Kavanagh - which was on good terms - Mr Crean wished his colleague well in his future endeavours and outlined his own plans.

"I am looking forward to developing this high quality portfolio of property investment though the new company (Marlet), and in the process helping alleviate the shortage of both quality housing and commercial property," Mr Crean said at the time.


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