Prop­erty:

Bee Bee De­vel­op­ments rais­ing money to clear debt and take over prime Dublin site Large site close to Dublin’s cen­tre has scope for hun­dreds of new homes

The Irish Times - - Front Page - BARRY O’HALLORAN

The orig­i­nal de­vel­oper of a prime Dublin site is close to re­gain­ing con­trol of it from Nama:

The orig­i­nal de­vel­oper of a prime Dublin site with room for hun­dreds of new homes is close to tak­ing back con­trol of the prop­erty from State agency Nama.

Nama ap­pointed re­ceivers Stephen Ten­nant and Paul McCann of Grant Thorn­ton to the Player Wills site on Dublin’s South Cir­cu­lar Road sev­eral years ago to re­cover a ¤90 mil­lion-¤100 mil­lion debt.

It is un­der­stood that the bor­row­ers, led by Ciaran Larkin’s Bee Bee De­vel­op­ments, are close to rais­ing the cash needed to clear the debt and re­take con­trol of the site, which once had plan­ning for more than 750 homes.

Such a move would spark fur­ther spec­u­la­tion over the fu­ture of one of the last re­main­ing sites close to Dublin’s cen­tre that has the scope to hold hun­dreds of homes and help ease the cap­i­tal’s grow­ing hous­ing cri­sis. Mr Ten­nant and Mr McCann ap­pointed es­tate agents Sav­ills to find a buyer for the site and re­ports ear­lier this year named var­i­ous prop­erty play­ers as likely pur­chasers, but no deal has been done.

In the mean­time, the site’s value has in­creased to the point where it is thought likely to ex­ceed the ¤90 mil­lion to ¤100 mil­lion that Bee Bee and build­ing com­pany, PJ Walls, are said to owe since buy­ing it more than a decade ago.

Loan re­pay­ment

Mr Larkin is thought to be close to rais­ing the cash needed to pay off the loan to Nama, in which case the de­vel­oper would re­gain con­trol of the Player Wills site from the agency’s re­ceivers. Nama chief ex­ec­u­tive Bren­dan McDon­agh re­cently in­di­cated to the Dáil’s Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee that it was open to the de­vel­oper to pay off the loan. “The sit­u­a­tion on that site now is that the val­u­a­tion could be in ex­cess of the debtor’s par debt and the debtor could have eq­uity in the site,” Mr McDon­agh told TDs.

This would be among the first in­stances where a Nama debtor’s prop­erty’s value has ex­ceeded the orig­i­nal loan

amount. He also con­firmed that Nama had once con­sid­ered de­vel­op­ing the site in a joint ven­ture, but those plans fell through, prompt­ing the agency to put it on the mar­ket. Should Mr Larkin not raise the cash needed to re­pay the debt, it would still be open to Mr Ten­nant and Mr McCann to sell the site.

Res­i­den­tial area

The prop­erty, in a set­tled res­i­den­tial area on Dublin’s south­side, in­cludes the ad­ja­cent Bai­ley Gib­son land and mea­sures about 3.3 hectares.

Dublin City Coun­cil orig­i­nally granted per­mis­sion to the de­vel­oper’s com­pany, Play­ers Square, to build 754 apart­ments, along with of­fices and shops, there in 2008.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: DARA MAC DÓNAILL

File pho­to­graph of the Player Wills fac­tory in a set­tled res­i­den­tial area on the South Cir­cu­lar Road in Dublin.

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