One Berkley court -132m Tower

Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby hutton » Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:26 am

So was anyone at the opening show? ... Most appropriate its on in the city's main arena :D

johnny21 wrote:One of many mountbrook sweeteners to the residents of ballsbridge!!


*cough, silly sop alert, cough*
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby hutton » Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:31 am

From Today's Irish Times

High noon for urban high-rise: it's 37-storeys or none at all

ANALYSIS: Developer Seán Dunne is seeking to persuade An Bord Pleanála to approve his scheme for the 'rejuvenation' of Ballsbridge, writes Frank McDonald

AN BORD Pleanála is being given a clear choice - either to approve the controversial high-rise, high-density plan put forward for the Jurys-Berkeley Court hotel sites or to reject it in its entirety.

Reducing the overall scale or changing any of the building blocks is not seen by developer Seán Dunne as an option.

Architect Ulrik Raysse, leading designer of Danish firm Henning Larsen, told a rapt audience on the opening day of an oral hearing on 127 appeals both for and against the scheme that what he had produced was not a master plan, but rather "one design" in which each element related to the other.

The 37-storey triple-skin apartment tower, which he described as "the spice in the dish", was intended to relate to the city scale, providing a landmark for "the new Ballsbridge".

Its tapering, sculptural form would be difficult to change; if, say, 10 floors were to be omitted, the residual building would look like a stump.

According to Mr Raysse, its complex geometry and "diamond-cut" glazed façades related to the relatively "calm" brick-clad buildings that would occupy the rest of the seven-acre site. "It's like a book, with each building as a chapter. So you can't take out one chapter without losing the story", he told the hearing.

The Danish architect likened his creation to Rockefeller Center in New York, with an assembly of buildings arranged around public spaces. In Ballsbridge, these spaces would provide new pedestrian streets through the site, linking Pembroke, Lansdowne and Shelbourne roads, in the context of a "unique urban quarter".

He showed examples of Henning Larsen's work elsewhere, such as the new Opera House and Nordea office complex in Copenhagen.

But these buildings are much lower than anything being proposed for Ballsbridge and, as former Progressive Democrat leader Des O'Malley noted, they are located on open harbour sites.

Even the Spiegel headquarters in Hamburg, with façades like giant plasma TV screens, is only 15 storeys high and it also occupies a waterfront site, rather than one surrounded by other buildings, as in the case of Ballsbridge. Larsen's Concert and Congress Hall in Uppsala, Sweden, is also relatively modest in scale.

Ian Ritchie, architect of the Dublin Spire in O'Connell Street and member of the jury which selected the Larsen scheme for Ballsbridge, turned up to endorse it. According to him, it would "do much for the growing international reputation of Dublin", by marking Ballsbridge on the city skyline as "a place of change".

But this can only happen, as Paul Walsh of Pembroke Road put it, "by driving a coach and horses through the Dublin City Development Plan 2005-2011", which made no provision for high-rise schemes in the Ballsbridge area - least of all one with a landmark that he rather rudely likened to a "massive bent erection".

Although An Bord Pleanála has the power to override the city plan, Des O'Malley reminded presiding planning inspector Tom Rabbette that councillors had rejected a proposal to designate Ballsbridge as a "prime urban centre" and had also declined to approve a local area plan that would have permitted high-rise.

As he noted, neither Mr Raysse nor Mr Ritchie had mentioned the city plan in their architectural presentations. Yet the "huge overweening office and residential blocks proposed will completely dwarf Lansdowne and Shelbourne roads", he said, adding: "It will be a sad day for Dublin if this was to be allowed go ahead."

The 12 residents' associations objecting to the scheme will be calling former Dublin chief planning officer Pat McDonnell as a key witness, while billionaire financier Dermot Desmond will be calling George Ferguson, former president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, to support his strong objection to what's proposed.

Forty-four of those who lodged appeals in favour of Seán Dunne's scheme, including Gate Theatre director Michael Colgan (cultural adviser for the project) and PR consultant Bill O'Herlihy, will not be appearing.

Instead, they are being represented by planning consultant Tom Phillips, which means they cannot be cross-examined.

© 2008 The Irish Times





Dunne's tower will ruin Ballsbridge, hearing told

OLIVIA KELLY
FORMER PD leader Des O'Malley has said Ballsbridge will be "destroyed" if developer Seán Dunne's plans for a 37-storey tower on the site of the former Jurys and Berkeley Court hotels are allowed to go ahead.

Mr O'Malley was speaking on the first day of the Bord Pleanála hearing into the plans for the seven-acre site bought by Mr Dunne for €380 million three years ago.

The planning board received a record 127 appeals in relation to the planning application with an unprecedented 90 of those appeals in favour of the development.

Dublin City Council last March granted permission for the bulk of the development, including an 18-storey tower, but rejected the 37-storey building on grounds of excessive height. Mr Dunne is appealing to the board to reinstate the 37-storey tower.

Mr O'Malley, who lives on nearby Merrion Road, has not made a formal application but is among the objectors to the scheme.

The 36 appellants against the development include billionaire businessman Dermot Desmond, who is due to give evidence to the hearing in the coming days.

Mr O'Malley said the fact that the planners had given permission for the bulk of the scheme while the councillors had recommended against it showed a dichotomy between unelected officials and elected councillors.

"I know it is fashionable to look down on councillors but I'm a bit old-fashioned and I believe in democracy."

The development was inappropriate in its height, scale and density, Mr O'Malley said.

"It will be a sad day for Dublin if one of its most attractive inner suburbs is destroyed in the fashion proposed here, if this is allowed to go ahead."

The chairman of the Pembroke Road Residents' Association, Paul Walsh, said the tower was "like a massive bent erection" which was "so awful, so incongruous that even Dublin City Council with their absolute enthusiasm for earning building levies rejected it".

Mr Walsh said he realised his comments might be considered "rude" and said he was making them in a personal capacity.

The Danish architect who designed the development said he took inspiration for the 37-storey tower from the Pepper Canister Church on Dublin's Mount Street.

"We found a lot of inspiration in Georgian Dublin but there is a tendency for a city to become a bit of a museum and in that sense new development needs to happen so there can be a city for the future," Ulrick Raysse told the hearing.

Ian Ritchie, the Dublin Spire architect who was on the judging panel which chose Mr Raysse's design, said the development respected the environment of Ballsbridge and the tower was an elegant building which was the appropriate height for its location.

"While it is accepted the site is not in the heart of the city centre, I would be very surprised if the mayors of London or Paris would not grasp the opportunity to see developed such an outstanding urban and architectural proposal in their own cities."

He added that it was never envisaged that his Spire should be the tallest building in Dublin.

Planning consultant Tom Phillips, who represents 44 of the appellants in favour of the development, including Gate Theatre director Michael Colgan and public relations consultant Bill O'Herlihy, said the development would create 5,000 jobs.

Mr Phillips said that a draft local area plan (Lap), which would have allowed a landmark building in the area, was dropped by city councillors 10 days before the 2007 general election.

"The DCC planners were pro-active on this issue, but were frustrated by the refusal of the elected members to adopt or amend the draft Lap. An Bord Pleanála has the power to redress this issue."

The hearing continues today and is expected to last two weeks.

© 2008 The Irish Times
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby Rory W » Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:45 am

johnny21 wrote:One of many mountbrook sweeteners to the residents of ballsbridge!! Architectural competition for the ballbridge/dodder predestrian bridge won by irish architect based in london. Funny looking blue bridge but i think i like it!!!!!!:cool:


Given the Jury's site is at least 200m from the Dodder and has a lot of buildings in between I don't get how this bridge is of benefit to the mountbrook - where will this bridge be sited - is it part of 'The Oval'?
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby Rusty Cogs » Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:55 pm

Paul Walsh, said the tower was "like a massive bent erection"


Is it the fact that the erection is bent which is troubling Paul ? Would he be fine if it was straight or does he equate all tall buildings with massive erections. Would he be more comfortable with a smaller building / erection ? The people deserve to know ;)
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby jdivision » Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:05 pm

Rory W wrote:Given the Jury's site is at least 200m from the Dodder and has a lot of buildings in between I don't get how this bridge is of benefit to the mountbrook - where will this bridge be sited - is it part of 'The Oval'?


Yes it's not near the site but it's part of the community planning gain Dunne offered:
Dunne offers €31m for social initiatives in D4
Sunday, September 02, 2007 - By Neil Callanan
Property developer Sean Dunne has said that he proposes to spend €31 million on social initiatives in Dublin 4 as part of his planning application for the Jurys Ballsbridge and Berkeley Court hotel sites.

Dunne’s company, Mountbrook Homes, will spend the money on new community centres, sheltered housing and other initiatives if planning permission is granted for the proposed development. The company lodged its plan for the site, including a 37-storey tower, last Friday.

Its proposed scheme is just under 190,000 square metres, and would include more than 500 apartments, offices, shops, bars, restaurants, a cultural quarter, a hotel and embassy space on the site.

The plan is on display to the public at the Berkeley Court today.

As well as providing social and affordable housing on another site in the area, Dunne is also willing to build a new community centre on the site of the existing Ringsend and Irishtown centre on Thorncastle Street.

It would have a sports hall, a creche, daycare centre, youth clubs, offices, changing rooms and computer training rooms. The facility would continue to be owned by the current trustees.

The creche in the hotel site will have 30 subsidised places, with a maximum charge of €1 per hour for low-income households if the scheme is approved.

Artists in the studios proposed for the site will be subsidised for up to two years. Lansdowne Road will be landscaped, and Dunne is willing to build a new pedestrian bridge over the river Dodder at the back of the Oval development on Shelbourne Road.
The developer said that he was also willing to help finance the cost of a Luas feasibility study for a line linking the city centre, Ballsbridge, AIB Bankcentre, St Vincent’s Hospital and University College Dublin.

He is also offering to redevelop the sheltered housing at Margaretholme on the Claremount Road in Sandymount. There are currently 38 units there.

Dunne said he could bring that number up to 90 and build a community hall. This will not count towards Mountbrook’s social and affordable housing obligations from the hotel redevelopment.

A further €5 million will be available towards local amenities, the beneficiaries of which will be chosen in consultation with councillors and planners.
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby lostexpectation » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:13 pm

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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby Rory W » Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:27 pm

Thanks jdivision that clarifies it somwhat
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby hutton » Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:36 pm

A rather erudite submission given by Pat McDonnell yesterday. I agree with every word - and particularly his assertion that the development plan is being subverted - here, and also I believe with the preposterous high rise/ so-called "maximisation" document, and of course the tawdry JC Decaux scheme - complete with it's secret rezonings...

What exactly is going on among officialdom of DCC planning dept?


Ex-planner says project in Ballsbridge 'a shambles'

OLIVIA KELLY
A FORMER chief Dublin city planner has accused the council’s planning department of disregarding the city development plan in granting permission for Seán Dunne’s high-rise development in Ballsbridge.

Former city planning officer Pat McDonnell, who took early retirement from the council four years ago, told An Bord Pleanála he was concerned about the “state of planning” in the council since he left the department. “I am particularly concerned about the status of the development plan in the eyes of the planners.”

He said the proposed development on the site of the former Jurys and Berkeley Court hotels in Ballsbridge contravened the development plan – which set Z1 residential zoning for the land – by allowing offices, having an excess of retail space, a deficit of open public space, sunless streets and no play area for children.

“The development plan is a democratically-arrived at contract with the public. It is a substantial, meaningful document, and is the whole basis for property rights...It can’t be casually interpreted or played around with.”

While there was room for some flexibility in interpretation of the plan, this particular development was in complete contravention of the plan. “Personally I would have put the developers – the applicants for this development – on early alert of the possibly rocky road they were going to face.”

Mr McDonnell said he was “surprised” and “rather disappointed” by the way the planners had treated this application. They had been right to reject the 37-storey tower which would have been an “impossibility” on the site. However, by granting other elements of the scheme on a piecemeal basis they had left the project in “a shambles”.

“There might have been a case for the planners to say ‘this isn’t going to work’ and to refuse this development in its entirety. Overall refusal might have been the best response.”

He said the site was suitable for redevelopment, but as a high-quality residential scheme with building heights of four to five storeys.

Patrick Dowling, a local resident and a banker, told the hearing on the proposed development it was his professional opinion that in the current economic climate no bank or syndicate of banks would be capable of financing the whole project.

The scheme could only be financed and built on a piecemeal basis. “This gives rise to my gravest concern that for years the site will only be partially developed and half-built, and so will become the largest construction eyesore in the country.”

He said permission should not be granted as the scheme contravened the city development plan. However if it was the board should impose a timetable and the developer should be required to lodge a significant bond with the council which would be forfeit if the timetable was not adhered to.

© 2008 The Irish Times
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby gunter » Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:21 pm

hutton wrote:
Former city planning officer Pat McDonnell . . . . said the site was suitable for redevelopment, but as a high-quality residential scheme with building heights of four to five storeys.



I was with him up to that point.

Does he not remember that there were hotels and function rooms on these sites? There's no way a site like this, near the centre of Ballsbridge, needs to be restricted to high-end (quality?) residential redevelopment, and 4 - 5 storeys is a bit harsh!

Unfortunately, it's stuff like this that gives the Rose approach credibility.

I hope someone in Bord Pleanala has enough sense to realize that, between these two extremes, there is an urban scale, permiable, mixed use, alternative that can enhance, rather than stamp all over, the character of the area, but I don't know if I'll be placing any bets.
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby SunnyDub » Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:12 pm

I think 8 storeys with the street network they've proposed for the site and they should get a similar plot ratio to 3.0 (similar to docklands) and we'll all be happy...the present scheme (plot ratio 5.5) is definitely going to be refused outright.
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby Conorworld » Sat Sep 13, 2008 5:50 pm

I think this was just the height of the land and property frenzy that has hopefully dissipated. I hate the way that it is all been dictated by the need for a return on money. If you pay that much for land you can't roughshod over planning guidelines and the general local population so you can make your money back.

I will admit I don't know much about the whole thing but when I saw the price awarded for the sight at first and then the design I thought it was a joke. The purchaser might have to learn that he may have spent too much buying the land in the first place and lick his wounds if he fails and land on his own financial sword.

I personally believe it should not go ahead. Its another example of the highest degree of builders trying to bulldoze their way in their pursuit of cash.
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby reddy » Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:35 am

I cant see how this can possibly get the go ahead in its current form. I really don't understand the DCC decision to allow it in the first place.

In my own mind the tower is the least objectionable element of the entire proposal - Its a top quality design, in a location which, although jarring with its context, provides a major landmark and point of legibility and orientation. On the other hand it does seem a shame to permanently alter the nature of the villages in Dublin by allowing something like this.

As for the rest of the development I feel it should be thrown out on so many grounds:

  • Excessive height to all surrounding streets, especially Landsdowne Rd.
  • Monotony in the facades, not distinguishing between housing, embassy, office etc,
  • Poor quality of apartments - although large - poor usability, light penetration, single aspect etc, balcony size...
  • The ridiculous cross sections through the proposed streets, which would leave them cold, dark, damp and unusable.
  • The huge amount of retail provision, which would clearly make this a destination, incurring all the traffic implications this brings and also detracting from the city centre, from which it is not very far. The ground floor is nearly entirely retail which reduces greatly the value of the public realm to those living there and to the community surrounding,
  • The major density involved - 191 units per hectare - 150 dph is considered 'superdensity' by CABE - this is well above that - bringing major implications for service provision, apartment quality and open space.
  • The monotony of dwelling typology - Accommodation will not achieve a broad social mix and vibrant community.


There have been many more arguments made against this in the oral hearing and they are very convincing. I want to like this scheme as I think it could be really well made and a great design but as of now, they're just cramming too much onto the site.

Sean Dunne needs to concede some of the height and settle for a quality, well built development with a more palatable deference to its context.
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby shanekeane » Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:47 pm

well since so much money was spent designing it, why don't they build this where the u2 tower was supposed to be. better looking than that was anyway
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby SunnyDub » Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:00 pm

Agree with Reddy above. Also I think the end is nigh for these high rises given that it's only matter of time before the banks start coming for these boys, I'd say we'll end up with 3 max in Dublin over the next 10 years.

Interesting article on Dublin high rises from yesterday's SINDO, yes I know it's a rag!

End of era of 'massive erections'

http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/era-of-massive-bent-erection-1475197.html
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby Pot Noodle » Mon Sep 15, 2008 6:15 pm

jdivision wrote:Yes it's not near the site but it's part of the community planning gain Dunne offered:
Dunne offers €31m for social initiatives in D4
Sunday, September 02, 2007 - By Neil Callanan
Property developer Sean Dunne has said that he proposes to spend €31 million on social initiatives in Dublin 4 as part of his planning application for the Jurys Ballsbridge and Berkeley Court hotel sites.

Dunne’s company, Mountbrook Homes, will spend the money on new community centres, sheltered housing and other initiatives if planning permission is granted for the proposed development. The company lodged its plan for the site, including a 37-storey tower, last Friday.

Its proposed scheme is just under 190,000 square metres, and would include more than 500 apartments, offices, shops, bars, restaurants, a cultural quarter, a hotel and embassy space on the site.

The plan is on display to the public at the Berkeley Court today.

As well as providing social and affordable housing on another site in the area, Dunne is also willing to build a new community centre on the site of the existing Ringsend and Irishtown centre on Thorncastle Street.

It would have a sports hall, a creche, daycare centre, youth clubs, offices, changing rooms and computer training rooms. The facility would continue to be owned by the current trustees.

The creche in the hotel site will have 30 subsidised places, with a maximum charge of €1 per hour for low-income households if the scheme is approved.

Artists in the studios proposed for the site will be subsidised for up to two years. Lansdowne Road will be landscaped, and Dunne is willing to build a new pedestrian bridge over the river Dodder at the back of the Oval development on Shelbourne Road.
The developer said that he was also willing to help finance the cost of a Luas feasibility study for a line linking the city centre, Ballsbridge, AIB Bankcentre, St Vincent’s Hospital and University College Dublin.

He is also offering to redevelop the sheltered housing at Margaretholme on the Claremount Road in Sandymount. There are currently 38 units there.

Dunne said he could bring that number up to 90 and build a community hall. This will not count towards Mountbrook’s social and affordable housing obligations from the hotel redevelopment.

A further €5 million will be available towards local amenities, the beneficiaries of which will be chosen in consultation with councillors and planners.


:eek:What no halting sites
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby SeamusOG » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:11 am

There is a rumour going around town that the bank involved in financing this is now UP one set of keys.

But DOWN around about 500 million euro.

And that they are attempting to re-flog the whole thing back to the Doyle family for a fraction of that figure.

Was the whole BP inquiry in vain?
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby PVC King » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:15 pm

Who was the funder?

For lending on that scale you'd expect more than one bank to be involved.
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby notjim » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:14 pm

Wow! I think it is ulster bank and they meant, but failed, to sell the debt on. Of course, with the state scheme, we are ultimately responsible!
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby johnglas » Sun Nov 23, 2008 1:59 pm

I wonder if the state 'guarantee' is worth the paper it's (not) printed on; if the UB tried to get this EUR500m bad debt off the Dept of Finance I suspect they'd be told where to go. With all these landbanks kicking around, the State should buy those it wants at CURRENT market values (i.e. not a lot) - making developers and banks an offer they cannot refuse - and held as a strategic state land bank to be used/released/sold at the State's pleasure and for purposes of strategic public benefit. And,of course, with appropriate mandatory planning guidelines attached.
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby notjim » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:23 pm

johnglas wrote:; if the UB tried to get this EUR500m bad debt off the Dept of Finance I suspect they'd be told where to go.


No of course not, as I understand it, it just means that if the like of this brings a bank down, the state is liable for anything the bank owes to anyone else. In fact, as I should have remembered earlier, Ulster Bank opted out of the scheme.

Oh how blissful if the state bought this site at some sizable discount as a way of bolstering liquidity in the banking sector: what a wonderful mixture of things could be done with this site, not least for the education sector, a significant joint residence for TCD/UCD would head my list. Won't happen though.
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby PVC King » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:54 pm

It would be interesting for the state to buy this site back to replace the vetinary college for a similar price to what they sold the former college for.

You are correct that RBS and HBoS opted out of the government scheme as the cost of the finance is not cheap and unlike the Irish banks they had the choice to weigh it up with the UK package which has more generous terms for political reasons.

It will be interesting to see what happens next and my guess is that nothing will happen until ABP make a decision; the ownership with a full grant possibly retained by SD; and if SD can't find development finance in the event of a grant the intention of all potential buyers will be based purely on what guidance is given as to preferred land use for this site.

Worst case scenario from a property point of view is that the site contains two very successful hotels albeit managed with the short term in mind of late which if they were the subject of a modest investment programme would have a substantial value per bedroom plus a large valuation for the conferencing facilities.

If the permission were granted that would really take the banks off the hook and possibly give SD some of his equity back; this whole saga reads like a certain shopping centre in 1981 minus the speech in the BoI boardroom after a certain inheritance.

How different the outlook has become generally :(

A couple of years ago all battles were simply between consultants and the conservation movement / wealthy residents now the credit squeeze is hurting all sides. :(
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby hutton » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:55 pm

The title of this thread is One Berkley court -132m Tower

In view of recent events, I propose we change it so as to read One Berkley court -€500m
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby jdivision » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:22 pm

Seamus O'G wrote:There is a rumour going around town that the bank involved in financing this is now UP one set of keys.

But DOWN around about 500 million euro.

And that they are attempting to re-flog the whole thing back to the Doyle family for a fraction of that figure.

Was the whole BP inquiry in vain?


It's not true according to both sides
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby alonso » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:43 pm

hutton wrote:The title of this thread is One Berkley court -132m Tower

In view of recent events, I propose we change it so as to read One Berkley court -€500m


Or

One Shit Creek - No paddle
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Re: One Berkley court -132m Tower

Postby BostonorBerlin » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:04 pm

How are things going on the tower. :D
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/business/worldbusiness/04ireland.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&hp

Thers some crackers in here...well worth a read
JoePublic wrote:I don't see how Sean Dunne's finances are at all relevant. The scheme should be judged on its merits alone, and how it fits in with whether or not we want a high density future for Dublin.


wearnicehats wrote:of course there's money involved. no-one is stupid enough to ignore that. Neither is Sean Dunne stupid enough to know that he still makes money if the tower gets chopped in half. He had a competition, got a good and renowned architect and he's put it up to the planners. Let's see what happens
BTW anyone who wants to experience the positive and constructive nature of mickletterfeck's contributions to this site should visit this thread
http://www.archiseek.com/content/showthread.php?t=4439
thank the lord ODT didn't get get the job


jdivision wrote:And there was I thinking developers developed for nothing. Of course it's about money. Along the way it helps if it improves on what's there, ie, a bunch of drab horrible buildings that are past their sell by date. That's what this debate is about. The issue of Dunne making a profit is so obvious it doesn't need to be mentioned, it's what all developers do. The issue of high rise for Ballsbridge is not a hard one. There is no village centre, it's walking distance from the city centre and close to major public transport links. In short it's probably the best location in Dublin for high rise along with the docklands. This thing of oh it's unsuitable for Ballsbridge when there's relatively tall buildings in the area - dating from the 1970s in the main, when there was much lower densities than are presently allowed - is nonsensical.


alonso wrote:mick thanks for the lesson. We had thought Mountbrook was an arm of Respond until you came along. Whatever about the social make up of this place, having wealthy people living in towers is better than having them in outer suburban sprawl. And if this scheme is successful we can finally throw off the shackles of high rise in Ireland whereby every ignorant buffoon, when confronted with anything over 6 storeys retorts "not another Ballymun".



massamann wrote:I have a confession to make.

Its something that has been eating up inside of me for years and now - due to MickLetterfracks nuanced debating - I have to admit it: I too go to work mainly for the money. Yeah, sure, I get a sense of achievement of out some of the things that I do, and I enjoy the company of my work colleagues, but I'm guessing Sean Dunne does too. In fact, given that Sean Dunne is far richer than I am, and as he could probably retire tomorrow if he wanted too, it's probably less about the money for him than it is for me. Damn.

Up to now, I hadn't realised that working to earn money was wrong. And it leaves me in a bit of a quandry: If I shouldn't work for money, and my hobbies are now to become my job, then how do I afford to put food on the table? Or should I just suffer for my art?

Then again, why does it matter if Sean Dunne makes a profit as long as the design succeeds? Is this not the main question? Personally, I'd prefer if a design conscious developer made money, so that they can afford to take their design conscious ass and develop another site.

Or am I missing something here? :confused:


Rory W wrote:Spot on Alonso - as someone who was 2 hours late for work this morning due to train failure on the (grim up) northern line I'd sooner see this sort of development act as a catylist for decent high rise in the CC so that it (a) civilises high rise living and the city centre as a place for families (b) develops sufficent density for a proper metro and (c) stops the constant sprawl of dross which is destroying this country


jdivision wrote:Eh land prices in Ballsbridge have pretty much doubled since he bought it. So actually he got a fairly good deal.


wearnicehats wrote:Don’t forget that prior to the sale of Jurys Ballsbridge Sean Dunne was Jurys’ largest single shareholder at nearly 19% of the company. Seeing as how the papers this weekend put the sale of the chain at between €750 and €950million, Mr. Dunne will have made a few quid back.

Also, he says in his letter that he only took control of the hotel in September this year. Many deals where a company needs “money” are structured in such a way that very little “money” changes hands. You might find that big interest payments only kicked in recently

And, as Matt cooper said in May 2006, “One wonders what Ahern, Cowen and other ministers make of their friend's ambitious plans to reshape the landscape of Dublin 4. Will they support, object or affect neutrality, as if this is merely a commercial matter of no real interest to politicians? Will friendship with Dunne influence their thinking? Eventually, of course, it will come down to the planners, and what they think is in the best interests of the development of the city. And we can have every confidence that they'll make the right decisions, oblivious to all factors of wealth, influence and begrudgery. Can't we?”

So his position might not be as shaky as people think.

But, as our mad friend who has just made the 10 minute trip from his desk to his padded cell alluded to, Dunne’s just committed himself to a minimum of 1 year in the planning process and another 4 on site. That’s still, financially, a bit tasty.

Just to put the cat amongst the pigeons - what if the “it’ll never get built” crowd are right, but for none of the above.

What if Sean Dunne has no intention of building anything. What if he’s got the high of the deal, the competition, the spotlight. What if he’s using the site as collateral to finance other deals. What if, in 18 months time, he simply sells the site. Even if he gets €70million per acre (not unreasonable) he’ll turn a tidy profit. And if his planning is refused he can leave head held high. If it is granted, he’ll get even more cash for the site.

What if……


wearnicehats wrote:I was going to write something but then I realised that nothing would sum it up better.

Rory W wrote:I was going to respond to him but words literally failed me


jdivision wrote:Dunne paid €379 million for the two sites in 2005, but the fact that he had not actually taken ownership escaped most people, until he pointed it out in a letter to this paper last month.

"Dunne was silent about the precise point at which he took on the responsibility for the very large loans that finance his deal, but presumably the meter is now well and truly running."
It was included in sale documents and publicly stated that Jurys Doyle would not hand over the properties for two years after the sale.


"it is at the same time very hard at this stage to see how he will make any money out of the project without driving a coach and four though the planning laws."

He needs an average of 8 storeys on the site to make a sizable profit from what other developers have told me.


"McNamara estimates that his construction, site clearance and finance costs will work out at around €1 billion, or just over €3,300 per square metre for his 300,000sq m mixed use development."
Not comparing like with like, Irish Glass Bottlers site is a former dump so much more expensive site clearance. He has no idea what interest rate Dunne is paying or how loan is structured, McNamara offered a 17 per cent per annum guaranteed return to investors for some of the finance. Dunne's finance costs will be much lower. Somebody here suggested a 5.25 per cent bond.

"More specifically, McNamara expects to get €625,000 for a two-bed apartment when his development comes on stream over the next five years. It is a reasonable assumption given current prices, even allowing for the current weakness in the property market. If anything , these prices look a little cheap for Ballsbridge in five years' time, but using them compensates for the conservative approach to Dunne's costs."
The approach to costs wasn't conservative as previously explained. In addition Dunne is on record is saying that the cheapest apartment will be more than e1 million. Why start using a e625,000 figure. Comparing Ringsend to Ballsbridge in terms of selling price per square metre is ludicrous.

"And if he doesn't get his towers, then the finances of his project look far less robust. It also calls into question the viability of whatever projects the developers who paid even more than Dunne for the adjoining sites in Ballsbridge have in mind. The €54 million an acre paid by Dunne is dwarfed by the €83 million an acre paid by Ray Grehan for an adjoining site and the €133 million an acre paid by Gerry O'Reilly for his site."

Ray Grehan paid e171.5 million for his site and expects it to have a completion value of e600 million. Based on standard developer profits of 30 per cent he stands to earn nearly e200 million if ressie values are steady in a few years time.


"Whatever problems Dunne must face, their difficulties will be significantly greater. It is hard to see any of them, Dunne included, making money unless the planning laws are rewritten massively in their favour."
There is already high rise in the immediate area, most of it dating back more than 30 years when densities and plot ratios were lower. Hardly planning laws being rewritten for him when Lansdowne got planning less than a kilometre away.

It's armchair economics from McManus TBH.


jdivision wrote:SD hasn't been to Galway races in three yearas alonso


BostonorBerlin wrote:Oi Wearnicehats Im guessing you read the papers - still reckon SD will get 70 million an acre ?



Yep Kefu .. Id say their beating down Sean Dunnes door to spend a million on an apartment .


Its "architectural merits" are sure to bring home the bacon, seems to be working for all the other box extensions/contemporary/clean line/minimalist pads whose prices are dropping thru their marble floors.. too funny ...:)



kefu wrote:Before people start talkin' about those commuting from two hours away, this proposal will have absolutely zero impact on this. It's not unrealistic that starting prices here will be beginning (and this is conservative) at around E800,000. More likely in fact is that every single apartment in this complex will cost more than E1 million. It seems likely that many of these will be bought up by investors or for the very wealthy as a second home. None of the people commuting from Portlaoise, Virginia, Gorey or whereever are going to be moving into this scheme.
One Berkeley Court is a development for the very rich, as befits its locations in Dublin 4.
So for anybody making this argument, give me a break.
Let the project stand on its architectural merits and that alone.


wearnicehats wrote: What if Sean Dunne has no intention of building anything. What if he’s got the high of the deal, the competition, the spotlight. What if he’s using the site as collateral to finance other deals. What if, in 18 months time, he simply sells the site. Even if he gets €70million per acre (not unreasonable) he’ll turn a tidy profit. And if his planning is refused he can leave head held high. If it is granted, he’ll get even more cash for the site.
What if……

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