The National Asset Management Agency is set to provide funding to finish off an eight-storey apartment block at the partially-built residential and commercial development in The Grange on the Stillorgan Road in south Dublin, according to today’s Irish Times.
The 129 apartments form part of an extensive portfolio of properties held by Ray Grehan’s company, Glenkerrin, before its debts of €650 million were transferred to NAMA.
NAMA is continuing to pursue Grehan for hundreds of millions of euro in court actions in four counties. He has been living in London since May of last year and was declared bankrupt by the High Court there on December 30th.
Receivers Paul McCann and Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton are due to invite tenders shortly for the completion of internal work on the crescent-shaped Block G in The Grange, which is expected to cost between €5 million and €10 million and take about six months.
Once the work has been completed, the receivers will decide whether to sell the apartments or lease them until there is a recovery in market prices. Another 30 unsold apartments in a separate block have been leased at €1,250 to €1,300 per month.
NAMA’s decision to complete Block G comes after it rejected an offer of about €27 million for this building, an adjoining office block and remaining development opportunities at The Grange. NAMA had been seeking offers of at least €35 million for the Glenkerrin holding.
There is planning permission for a further 80 apartments on the site as well as a substantial nursing home. The sale would also have included a separate office block at the front of the site, where one of the four floors is occupied by drinks group CC. Letting terms have been agreed on a second floor.
Meanwhile, David Cantwell of agents Hooke MacDonald has been appointed to take over the day-to-day management of Glenkerrin’s portfolio which includes several residential schemes, Maynooth Business Campus and development sites in Ballsbridge, Howth, Rathmines and Ashford.
Grehan’s misjudgment of property values were most evident in the high prices paid for sites at Ballsbridge and Howth. An independent valuer has reported that the former UCD veterinary college site of 2.02 acres in Ballsbridge – bought by Grehan in November 2005 for €171.5 million, or almost €84 million per acre – would be unlikely to sell for more than €20 million in today’s difficult market. That would represent a fall in value of about 88%.
In Howth, a 6.58-acre site along the coast, bought in two lots in 2007 for €62 million, is now valued at about €10 million.
Hooke MacDonald is expected to seek buyers for both sites soon. Planners have granted permission for a mixed use development on the former veterinary college site. It will include l86 apartments, 15,600sq m (167,917sq ft) of offices, 2,600sq m (27,986sq ft) of retail and a leisure centre extending to 2,340sq m (25,188sq ft). Fingal Co Council is due to announce shortly its decision on a planning application for the Howth site.
Buyers are also to be sought for a site in Ashford, Co Wicklow, with planning consent for 143 houses and a creche. Another site off Rathmines Road would suit a small residential or commercial scheme. The agents are also to market a number of completed office and warehouse units in Maynooth Business Campus.