Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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Just something on riverpoint(due for completion next month) and also some hints as to further development in the city centre!
Sunday business post
Sky’s the limit for Limerick developer
21 August 2005
The new Riverpoint tower in Limerick, the highest building in the city and the third tallest in the country, does not mark the height of local property developer Michael Daly’s ambition.
The accountant, corporate financier and property developer is also planning a â‚¬100 million, 100-bedroom four-star hotel and 95 apartments on the site of the old Savoy cinema in the city centre, and a retirement village at the Castletroy Park Hotel outside the city, not far from the University of Limerick.
The Riverpoint building on the river Shannon, which will eventually house 150 apartments, offices, shops, a restaurant, bar, gym and car park, is costing â‚¬75 million to develop. Once it is complete, 1,000 people are expected to live and work in the building.
It is one of the largest developments in Limerick and will change the face of the city, finally giving an attractive shape and character to an area that has been one of the oldest eyesores in the locality.
Daly has set up a financial structure behind the property whereby he retains a majority 51 per cent shareholding and splits the remaining shares among seven others. There are different structures in his other developments, but he holds a majority shareholding in each of them.
Anglo Irish Bank is backing not only the Riverpoint venture but all of Daly’s major property projects. Daly and his investors put up about â‚¬15 million of their own money in Riverpoint.
The building is close to completion. During the final phase, the building next door, St Munchin’s House, will be demolished and a nine-storey building above a courtyard will be built with 100 apartments and a creche.
The Riverpoint tower itself has a bar and restaurant on the ground and first floors, and 13 storeys of offices above that. Daly said two floors had been taken by a Limerick firm of solicitors, while an accountancy firm had occupied another two floors. Several construction companies have also taken occupancy.
The 15-storey building, at 200 feet, is smaller only than Cork County Hall and Liberty Hall in Dublin. It was designed by architects Burke Kennedy Doyle and built by Sisk, the construction giant that partners Daly on his property projects.
â€œWe are delighted Riverpoint has been received so well,â€ said Daly. â€œIt is a terrific landmark building for the city. We’re getting on with business now – once we finish one job, we move on to the next – but it is nice to leave something behind that everyone is comfortable with.â€
Daly said his property development business, Fordmount Properties, was behind â‚¬375 million worth of projects, making it one of the largest property companies in the midwest. The firm’s shareholders are Daly, Dermot O’Donovan, Thomas Dalton, Adrian Frawley and Michael Sherry.
Daly said the views from Limerick’s tallest building and its 220-space car park were the building’s two major draws for its tenants. â€œThe view of the river is just wonderful,â€ he said. â€œYou have views everywhere: you can see the Clare hills in the distance. That is what is actually selling it – everyone who has come down to look at it has gone â€˜wow’. The view is awesome.â€
Daly said that while there are plenty of car parks in the city, there are very few large car parks for businesses and apartment owners. â€œThe underground car parking has been a huge benefit,â€ he said.
â€œParking has not been readily available in the city. There would be other car parks of that size in the city, but not attached to office and residential.â€
Daly was a former corporate finance partner at Grant Thornton, but left to set up his own boutique house, First Capital Corporate Finance, and concentrate on his property projects.
Despite his level of activity in the property market, he still pays close attention to his corporate finance business, which primarily sets up property funding schemes.
The firm has raised finance for a shopping centre and nursing home in Co Galway, a retail park in Co Longford and a hotel in Co Leitrim.
Fordmount’s planned hotel on the Savoy cinema site will be operated by another hotel owned by Daly and his fellow investors, the Castletroy Park Hotel off the Dublin Road outside Limerick.
Daly hopes the new hotel will be open by next summer and surrounding shops by the end of the year.
Daly and his investors bought the hotel last year from US billionaire philanthropist Chuck Feeney for about â‚¬25 million. Fordmount’s retirement village will be located next to the hotel.
According to Daly, Fordmount is assessing other sites in Limerick city centre that he believes could be ripe for development. He said other property developers have focused on building in the suburbs, but he believed the real value was still in city centre locations.
â€œThere is a lot of retail parks being built around the city, but I would like to see the city centre being restored from a retail and commercial perspective,â€ he said. â€œAny town needs a vibrant town centre. I hope we haven’t run the risk of maybe going too much on the outskirts. That is one of the reasons why we are looking at other sites in the city centre.â€
Daly has taken an office in Limerick’s highest building, but denied that he was considering taking space on the top floor of the Riverpoint.
â€œI am going into the eleventh floor [of the offices] – there are two floors above me. I didn’t want to be seen as the king of the castle,â€ he said, laughing.
â€œI was tempted, alright, but I quickly dispelled the temptation.â€