â‚¬200m liabilities for Limerick property firm (Limerick Leader)
By Anne Sheridan & Alan Owens
A RECEIVER has been appointed to one of Limerick's largest property companies, the Fordmount Property Group, and its two subsidiaries, which cumulatively has net liabilities in excess of â‚¬200million.
Billy O'Riordan, partner with Price Waterhouse Coopers in Dublin, was appointed receiver for the company on Monday last by the lender, Anglo Irish Bank.
Dozens of creditors to the Fordmount Property Group and two of its subsidiaries - Fordmount Developments Ltd and Fordmount Developments (Savoy) Ltd - have received letters informing them of the move.
It is understood Mr O'Riordan is currently examining the situation and is consulting with the companies various stakeholders.
The directors of each of the companies are due to present the statement of affairs for all companies in January, but an extension may be granted to allow them get their affairs in order, before the accounts are submitted to the Companies Registration Office.
However, a source close to the company said "it is far too early to say what the prospects for unsecure creditors are".
The receiver will also be attempting to source tenants for some of Fordmount's vacant premises, including some on Bedford Row, to offset some of the companies liabilities.
"In many cases, premises were built by Fordmount, but are owned by the people who occupy them, or lease them, so there is no threat there."
Revelations that the companies, which has laid claim to building the city's tallest building, were suffering severe financial difficulties emerged this June, when Michael Daly stepped down from the companies he created five years ago.
He resigned from Fordmount Property Group Ltd, and its four subsidiary companies, which have pioneered a series of notable developments within the city, including Riverpoint, the Savoy Hotel (formerly the Marriott) and the redevelopment of Bedford Row. However, Mr Daly still remains a majority shareholder.
The two other companies are Fordmount Investments Ltd and Fordmount Retirement Villages Ltd.
The company once had a net worth in excess of â‚¬100million, and has delivered at least â‚¬300 million worth of landmark commercial developments in Limerick.
Local solicitor Adrian Frawley, a managing partner with Dermot G. O'Donovan & Partners solicitors, took up position of director of the Fordmount Property Group Ltd this summer, according to documents lodged with the CRO.
Other shareholders in the Fordmount Property Group, as of this March, include solicitors, Tommy Dalton, Dermot O'Donovan, and Michael Sherry
Howard Holdings to defend winding-up petition in England (Irish Independent)
Anglo restructures securities on assets of Howard Holdings (Irish Times)
STATE-OWNED ANGLO Irish Bank has restructured securities it holds over the assets of developer Howard Holdings assets in a move understood to be in preparation for moving its loans to Nama.
How the State became de facto shopping centre owners (Irish Times)
ANGLO IRISH BANKâ€™S stake in the Opera Centre means that its future is now entwined with that of the National Asset Management Agency (Nama).
Interests held by the nationalised bank in completed, half-finished and mooted retail projects will be part of the â‚¬77 billion in property, land and development loans being transferred to Nama.
Any retail schemes that were financed by AIB and Bank of Ireland in recent years could also end up in the Nama pot â€“ but there are no official statistics on the value of retail-related debt that will now be dealing with a State agency as its lender.
Uncompleted schemes such as the â‚¬350 million Opera Centre â€“ the other 50 per cent of which is owned by developers Jerry Oâ€™Reilly, Terry Sweeney and David Courtney â€“ are part of the â‚¬46 billion of Nama loans that donâ€™t currently produce any income from tenants.
Some of these projects will not proceed as they no longer make commercial sense.
Some â€œmay be viable of alternative uses or alternative project timescales are consideredâ€, the Nama business plan states. But it is likely that Nama will try to maximise its regular cash income, which could mean borrowing more to complete unfinished shopping malls.
Any decision on schemes such as the Opera Centre will have to be taken in the context of a more downcast consumer economy.
Tom Mackey, Limerickâ€™s city manager, is adamant that the Opera Centre will eventually â€œbring significant retail-led regeneration to Limerickâ€™s city centreâ€, as the original brochure claimed, and that it wonâ€™t be one of those â€œsounded like a good idea at the timeâ€ schemes that never happens.
â€œThat will happen in smaller commuter towns, but Limerick is the third city in the country. It is inevitable that if you have a major retail space, it will be developed,â€ says Mackey.
Monuments to the madness (Irish Independent)
Construction on Liam Carroll's ambitious €150m Parkway Valley Shopping Centre in Limerick has been on hold for about a year now.
Parkway Valley was to be developed by Carroll's Dunloe Ewart and originally promised to open next year with Tesco and Penneys as the key anchors. In an early property brochure, it is described as "the largest shopping scheme in Limerick" and holding the "largest Tesco in Ireland".
About 78 shops and restaurants were planned for the centre, along with over 2,000 car park spaces. However, as it is not yet built, no shops have been able to open there.
The wisdom of the plan was questioned by one local developer who described Limerick as "overshopped".
06330 Sloeberry Developments (Robert Butler Group)
Permission granted 3rd October 2007
Permission is being sought for the following items: (1) The change of use of the former office accommodation in the Rocheâ€™s Hanging garden building to bar and restaurant use. (2) The change of use of the Mercantile building, fronting onto Henry Street from offices to retail/commercial use. (3) The insertion of a bar, restaurant and night-club at ground floor and mezzanine level. (4) The provision of new build office accommodation at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floor levels. (5) Reinstatement of the arched faÃ§ade of the former Rocheâ€™s hanging gardens building. (6) The provision of basement parking, with access from Post Office Lane. (7) The provision of a new pedestrian link from Post Office Lane. (8) The demolition to three no. existing buildings on the site. (9) The provision of a sub-station and all associated site services on and under land. The proposed site lies within the curtillage of protected structures: (R.P.S. 306, GPO).
Parkway Valley Shopping Centre
Tuborg wrote:The Parkway Valley skeleton is a reminder of just how much the country lost the run of itself during the "boom year's". It's also one of the best illustration's of the ludicrous situation that still exists regarding the governance of Limerick City!
A project of this scale was never, ever viable, yet the lure of lucrative development levies and commercial rates was simply too great for Limerick County Council to refuse!
So what will become of this massive eyesore now? It's clearly not viable as a shopping complex, Is there any chance it could be modified for residential use? If I remember correctly, a number of ancillary facilities including an olympic sized ice rink , leisure centre, public park etc were also included in the overall site plan.
It'll be really interesting to see how NAMA goes about tackling this incredible mess!!
Griff wrote: 25th May 2009 . . . . . The private hospital on the Dock rd has been stuck at foundation level for over a year now - although I heard that they are close to agreeing finance and will be back onsite soon.
CologneMike wrote:Former An Post (GPO) Complex ~ Roche's Hanging Gardens Building
Work on this development has stopped some 12 months ago. Looks like as if a client will have to be found first before work will recommence. Although there are no press reports of any financial problems, it looks like as if the state could be a welcome â€œget out of jail free cardâ€ for this development yet.
Any up to date news here?
Redevelopment of the site will include the demolition of existing buildings and the provision of a mixed use retail/office development comprising (i) an anchor retail store of 4,010 sq.m gross floor space; (ii) 5 No. retail units; (iii) a licensed betting office; (iv) restaurant with ancillary take-away facilities; (v) independent upper floor offices of 4,721 sq.m net floor space; (vi) basement car parking with provision for 460 car parking spaces and (vii) all ancillary infrastructure and site development works including (a) realignment of the existing road network; (b) ESB substation (c) associated signage and (d) land-scaping works.
Corner of Rosbrien Road and Ballinacurra Road, Limerick
Junior wrote:Apparently the Punches Cross development was earmarked as a mini satelite Dunnes Stores franchise for a good while, not withstanding the traffic problems at the location, considering there are several primary and secondary schools in the locality, any development in the Ballinacurra Rd./ O'Connell Avenue cannot be of the high density retail-domestic variety that has plauged Limerick in the last decade.
It's a lovely leafy neighbourhood with convents,schools and Mary I, It cannot take more vehicular traffic,it should be put to good use and made into housing appropriate to its edwardian suburban surroundings.
tradcentric wrote:I read this today over at â€˜An Irish Town Planner's Blogâ€™:
â€œâ€¦it emerged in recent days that the toxic loans agency Nama is prepared to demolish half-completed buildings which it believes have no value as commercial or residential developments.
Nama faces the tough task of dealing with â‚¬21bn of work-in-progress assets and deciding what the long-term future of each asset is. Demolition of some sites and returning them to agricultural use is already being actively considered by Nama.â€
I wonder will someone at NAMA have some sense and knock the half-built Parkway Valley shopping centre and return the site to green fields?. It was as bad idea in the first place and if it was ever completed would completely suck the life out of the already struggling city centre. A friend recently described it as â€˜Limerickâ€™s weathervaneâ€™ as the only thing the cranes are useful for is telling you which direction the wind it blowing. Surely the wind is blowing it towards demolition? It might be nice to keep one of the cranes though â€“ it can act as a post-boom-bust reminder of developersâ€™ folly.
I wonder will someone at NAMA have some sense and knock the half-built Parkway Valley shopping centre and return the site to green fields?
NAMA may demolish in 'extreme cases' (RTE)
Minister of State for Planning CiarÃ¡n Cuffe has confirmed developers and landowners may be compelled to demolish partly-completed developments.
His comments follow this week's statement by the National Asset Management Agency's Chief Executive Brendan McDonagh that sending in bulldozers could be unavoidable.
Later today, Mr Cuffe, a professional planner, will address the Irish Planning Institute's conference in Tullamore and speak in detail about what to do with the spectre of ghost estates.
However, he has made clear that in what he terms 'extreme cases' landowners and developers may be compelled to demolish partly completed, but unstable or deteriorating developments, for safety and other reasons.
Mr McDonagh told an Oireachtas Joint Committee earlier this week that while this could be a difficult decision, knocking down certain developments may be unavoidable - despite the move incurring costs.
Minister Cuffe has supported this statement but said that bulldozers are not the only solution. He said planners and architects will also be required to transform estates into sustainable communities where possible.
Limerick developer: people are losing empires 'through no fault of their own' (Limerick Leader)
By Anne Sheridan
ADARE-based developer Robert Butler has described as "horrific" the effect the recession has had on his fellow developers in Limerick, who have watched their property empires collapse "through no fault of their own".
[. . . . . . .]
However, with the house of cards tumbling down around him, Mr Butler appears to be the only local property developer standing tall - for now, at least.
"It (the recession] is affecting us, but we are weathering the storm well because we have a lot of investment properties and we've built up a good reputation over the last 20 to 30 years," he said.
[INDENT]He confirmed that work has ceased on the GPO site on Henry Street as demand for retail and office space has dried up. Some â‚¬15m has already been invested in the site, but another â‚¬12m would be required to complete the development[/INDENT]
PVC King wrote: . . . . . . but no doubt a suitable secondary shopping centre to be sold to one of the many european retail property funds when fully or close to fully let; no doubt the retail catchment data highlighting the level of retail saturation and number of pre-lettings already signed will have a massive bearing; more likely that in the absence of a pre-let on the anchor store that a soft deal would be done with Dunnes or Tesco and that they would dictate the completion date.
The environmental consequences of knocking that amount of concrete would be truely horrendous.
Limerick developer Ger Clohessy ordered to repay â‚¬34.9m in loans (Limerick Leader)
By Anne Sheridan, at the Commercial Court, Dublin
LIMERICK property developer Ger Clohessy was this Monday afternoon ordered to repay â‚¬34.9m in loans to Irish Nationwide, which were taken out in six accounts for development lands.
Mr Clohessy, brother of Ireland rugby international Peter and a former Young Munster captain, was not present in the Commercial Court, Dublin, when the order was made by Mr Justice Peter Kelly.
In early April, Mr Clohessy had strongly criticised Irish Nationwide's decision to appoint a receiver to the Evanwood estate he was building in Castletroy, saying it "flies in the face of commercial logic".
Irish Nationwide's move followed lengthy negotiations on Mr Clohessy's multi-million euro borrowings.
â‚¬800k Filling Station (Irish Independent)
Meanwhile a Limerick city centre former petrol filling station and retail premises is also being offered for sale with an â‚¬800,000 asking price.
Located at the city end of Dock Road, the property is 150m from the Shannon Bridge Roundabout, adjacent to Mount Kenneth Place.
The high-profile site extends to 0.37 acres and enjoys road frontage of 48m to Dock Road. As well as a 198sqm retail unit, it has a paved forecourt area and six underground fuel-storage tanks.
Full planning permission for a multi-storey mixed retail/office development extending to 6,087sqm enhances its potential.
Agents Lisney Cork say that possible uses include petrol filling station, retail, car related uses including sales, valeting and services.
'Too early' to estimate NAMA's impact on hotels in Limerick (Limerick Leader)
By Anne Sheridan
THE CHAIRMAN of the National Assets Management Agency, Frank Daly, said that developments in Limerick don't "feature more or any less" under the bad loans agency.
Speaking at the University of Limerick, where he received an honorary doctorate yesterday, Mr Daly said it is too early to tell what hotels in the region are likely to come under NAMA.
The chairman said it is also too premature to identify the geographical or sectoral breakdown of bad loans across the country.
In total, 35 hotels nationwide have been identified, and a further 13 or 14 hotels outside Ireland that will come under the NAMA umbrella.
"In respect of each of them we'll be just assessing what the business is like, whether they have a reasonable chance of survival and if so, what we can do to help that.
"But there may be a reality check afterwards, if some of them can't survive, I'm afraid that's the way it will go. But we won't make any decision like that until we've had a very, very thorough, and very objective examination of the business plans of the people who own them," he said.
In the region of â‚¬80 billion worth of loans are due to come under NAMA, but he reiterated that the "absolute final figure" should be known by the end of February next year - the deadline set by the European Commission.
PVC King wrote:I would be very surprised if this were to be knocked; hardly an architectural gem but no doubt a suitable secondary shopping centre to be sold to one of the many european retail property funds when fully or close to fully let; no doubt the retail catchment data highlighting the level of retail saturation and number of pre-lettings already signed will have a massive bearing; more likely that in the absence of a pre-let on the anchor store that a soft deal would be done with Dunnes or Tesco and that they would dictate the completion date. The environmental consequences of knocking that amount of concrete would be truely horrendous.