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 Post subject: The Builders Revisited
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:18 pm 
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Posts: 48
Apologies if this has been posted...but I couldn't find it on the forum.
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The Builders Revisited

From a life of high-octane property wheeling and dealing to days filled with increasingly frantic attempts to keep the wolf from the door, the nightmare is getting worse for the high-flying developers brought back to earth with a resounding thump, write Frank McDonald and Kathy Sheridan in a six-part series

* Mon: Seán Dunne
* Tues: Liam Carroll
* Wed: Bernard McNamara
* Thurs: Ballymore Properties
* Fri: Treasury Holdings


http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2009/0228/1224241959429.html

Quote:
From a life of high-octane property wheeling and dealing to days filled with increasingly frantic attempts to keep the wolf from the door, the nightmare is getting worse on Planet Developer, write FRANK MCDONALD and KATHY SHERIDAN in the first of a six-part series

‘IT WAS LIKE a 10-year dream,” says the disconsolate developer, turning his mobile to silent, in a futile effort to shut out the clamorous world. “Now it’s like a tsunami that just keeps coming.” And meanwhile, as one architect wryly put it, the politicians, bankers and regulators are “still playing volleyball on the beach”.

The once bullish, man-about-town property developer seemed in a state of shock. “It’s the suddenness of it – the high to the low,” he says thoughtfully, as if seeing a catastrophe clearly for the first time. “It’s certainly brought everyone back to earth with a thump.”

In less than a year, the world he bestrode has turned on its axis. His sumptuous suburban home has gone on the market. The aircraft has been returned. The rarely-used villa on the Mediterranean is now the family’s principal residence. “It’s warmer there and it’s 40 per cent cheaper to live,” he says. A text message pings from his wife back at the villa. He swallows hard. “Good luck with the meeting,” she writes. “Whatever happens today I want to say thank you for making such a nice life for us.”

His days are now filled by an endless succession of tortuous meetings. Such encounters once carried the addictive thrill of a high-stakes poker game, with the delusional gambler’s faith that investments would always soar in value to counter any losses and a pet banker would always be on hand to up the ante – no matter how high it went.


(article too long to post all)

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0302/1224242083959.html

Quote:
SEÁN DUNNE was disarmingly frank in a New Year interview he gave to the New York Times , admitting that he “could be considered insolvent” if the banking crisis continued. Since then, the crisis in Ireland’s banks has become an international scandal – and Dunne’s own problems have deepened considerably.

The once-swaggering property developer – whose past excesses included a honeymoon with his second wife, former journalist Gayle Killilea, aboard Aristotle Onassis’s yacht Christina O in 2004 – had gambled on getting permission for a high-rise cluster in Ballsbridge, and lost the bet just three weeks after the interview was published.

In the autumn of 2005, when Dunne agreed to pay nearly € 54 million per acre for the site of Jurys Hotel and more than € 57 million per acre for the site of the Berkeley Court Hotel next door just a couple of months later, seasoned observers in the property world thought it was “mad money” – even though it was soon trumped by others.

Dunne had agreed to pay a total of € 379 million for the two hotel sites, with Ulster Bank advancing almost € 250 million towards the purchase. For both the developer and his bankers, it was a highly speculative deal that crucially depended on the planning authorities sharing his vision of creating “the new Knightsbridge”.

Yet there was never any basis in planning policy for the high-rise buildings proposed, not least the 37-storey “diamond-cut” tower that would have loomed up at the end of Pembroke Road. And though Dublin City Council planners decided to approve the project, minus the controversial tower, it would have to get through An Bord Pleanála.

Dunne had made it clear that it was “all or nothing” for the seven-acre site of the hotels, which re-opened for business in November 2007. He even suggested the macro-economic impact of what he was proposing would be so significant that it would be a blow to Dublin – and to Ireland – if the entire scheme did not proceed as planned.

Despite rounding up an impressive number of appeals in favour of the proposed development, which accounted for an unprecedented 87 out of the 127 lodged with An Bord Pleanála, and expressing confidence that he would get his way, the board refused permission on five counts, including “gross overdevelopment” in such a sensitive area.

Although a statement from Mountbrook, Dunne’s property company, said it would be making a fresh planning application for a purely residential scheme on the hotel sites, it seems probable that permission would only be granted for a much more modest development that would barely repay its extravagant investment.

According to property experts, the seven-acre site is likely to be worth no more than € 100 million in today’s depressed market – or just over a quarter of what Dunne paid for it in 2005 – and that the hotels he planned to demolish – now successfully trading as D4 Hotels – could be the most valuable part of what he called a “superprime” site.

Even if he had managed to get permission for the grandiose, overblown € 1 billion scheme shot down by An Bord Pleanála, what bank or banks would have lent him the money to develop it – and, in any case, where would he find an army of well-heeled purchasers to buy the 600-plus luxury apartments that were being planned?

Just one year ago, with property values in Dublin already falling, he was expecting to fetch € 1,500 per square foot for these apartments, or more than € 16,000 per sq metre. Thus, the asking price for a family-sized three-bedroom flat of 120 sq metres would have cost close to € 2 million – which would also be seen as “mad money” in today’s market.

The reversal in Ballsbridge was not the only setback Seán Dunne suffered in the past four months. Just two weeks before delivering its Ballsbridge verdict, the board overturned Wicklow County Council’s decision to approve a large-scale shopping centre at Charlesland, on the outskirts of Greystones, on the basis that it could undermine Bray.

The development proposed by Zapi Properties – jointly controlled by Dunne and Ballymore’s Seán Mulryan – was to have included 20,000 sq metres of shops, 16,000 sq metres of retail warehousing, 11,500 sq metres of car showrooms and 26,000 sq metres of office space. But where’s the market for all that?

Last November, the appeals board reversed a decision by Kildare County Council to approve plans for a retail, residential and office development on the Zed Candy site in Kilcock, saying it would have a detrimental impact on the viability of the town centre. But here again, who would be queuing up to take the 29 shops and 180 apartments?

Neither were the Ballsbridge hotel sites Dunne’s only investment in Dublin’s most exclusive inner suburb. At the height of the boom, he bought a half-share in AIB Bankcentre for € 200 million and engaged in a land swap valued at € 130 million to acquire Hume House – next door to Jurys – in exchange for an office block in Docklands.

Mountbrook’s balance sheet for the year ending July 2007 showed debts of € 624 million against assets of € 765.5 million. But the value of these assets has fallen sharply since then, leaving Dunne’s bankers still “standing by their man” while wondering if they’ll ever see the debts repaid. In the meantime, there is no question of a “fire sale”.

Others have more pressing concerns. On February 18th, for example, it emerged that estate agents CB Richard Ellis had initiated legal action against Dunne over the alleged non-payment of € 1.52 million in fees for handling the land swap deal that gave him ownership of Hume House; he pledged to lodge € 1 million in court pending the outcome.

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I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them-John Wayne


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 Post subject: Re: The Builders Revisited
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:05 pm 
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Too Big to Fail
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Valkstar wrote:
“It’s warmer there and it’s 40 per cent cheaper to live,” he says. A text message pings from his wife back at the villa. He swallows hard. “Good luck with the meeting,” she writes. “Whatever happens today I want to say thank you for making such a nice life for us.”

are we supposed to pity him now that the big bad bust took away all is fun.
fat chance!
i had an itch on my nose but i scratched that.

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Fear of losing out drives the bubble, fear of losing everything drives the bust.

Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do study history are doomed to watch everyone else repeating it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Builders Revisited
PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:31 pm 
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Of Systemic Importance
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Quote:
They spent the money and were generous to a fault. You can argue that it stemmed from insecurity and they needed to be the Big Men – but they did throw it around in every quarter.


Yes all the 45sqm 1 bedroom shoeboxes and 60sqm 2 bedroom kennels they've left us with are a testament to their great generosity :roll:

Greedy fucking pigs.


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 Post subject: Re: The Builders Revisited
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:40 am 
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http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ire ... 51285.html
The facade began to crack last July with news of a €20 million Aer Lingus share loss

LIAM CARROLL’s development work is virtually at a standstill. Once the principal engine of urban renewal in Dublin, churning out shoebox apartments all over the inner city, as well as Ireland’s most unlikely corporate raider, bagging control of Dunloe Ewart and substantial shareholdings in Greencore and Irish Continental Group, Carroll is now virtually idle.

The first sign of a crack in Carroll’s armour was the revelation last July that he had lost an estimated € 20 million on the sale of shares in Aer Lingus. He had started building a stake in the airline just six months earlier, using contracts for difference (CFDs). But when the share value fell, he decided to “crystallise his losses” by getting out fast.

He has also racked up paper losses of at least € 75 million on his stakes in several publicly quoted companies. And the long-term viability of Zelderbridge, his unlimited holding company, is “dependent on the continued support from group companies and their bankers”, according to a note attached by auditors to its 2007 accounts.

Carroll’s titanic struggle to wrest control of Dunloe Ewart in 2002 from wily solicitor-developer Noel Smyth also came back to haunt him in November 2007, when the High Court agreed to include him as a defendant in a complex case involving The Square shopping centre in Tallaght – at the instigation of Redfern Ltd, one of Smyth’s vehicles.

Redfern, which had paid € 320 million for Quinlan Private’s stake in the shopping centre in July 2006, claimed that it had lost up to € 70 million worth of tax incentives because of continuing delays in plans to redevelop and extend The Square due to an unresolved legal dispute with the owners of Lowe Taverns over title to the centre’s car park.

Liam Carroll had become big in Tallaght, with major developments in the town centre zone. These included not just one but two hotels – the 48-bedroom Glashaus, which opened in September 2007, and the 186-bedroom Tallaght Cross Hotel, which opened in February 2008. Last January, they both closed down, with the loss of 72 jobs.

The hotels’ websites forwarded inquiries to another of Carroll’s projects, the Alliance at the Gasworks, near Ringsend, which now offers short-term apartment accommodation in a converted Victorian gasholder. The 210 apartments, first launched in mid-2006 at prices ranging from € 675,000 to just over € 1 million, had failed to sell.

Carroll ran into strong opposition from local residents – mostly owner-occupiers in the Gasworks – to his plans to turn the Alliance building into a huge 520-bedroom hotel, in competition with the D4 Hotels run by rival developer Seán Dunne. Despite being approved by Dublin City Council planners, the scheme was withdrawn in January.

Two months earlier, residents had scored a major victory over the developer by persuading An Bord Pleanála to reject his plans for a major extension of Google’s headquarters on the Gasworks site. The board ruled that the scale and mass of the extra 5,600sq metres of office space was “unacceptable” in relation to nearby housing.

Danninger, Carroll’s principal vehicle and successor to Zoe Developments, was also refused permission by the appeals board for a plan to demolish a block of flats he had built 10 years earlier on Watling Street, near the Guinness brewery, to replace it with an office block. The board ruled that it would be “visually intrusive”.

And last December, just before Christmas, Dublin City Council rejected Danninger’s plans for a huge office development up to 17 storeys high in East Wall because of its “poor architectural quality, insufficient urban design and strategic rationale” as well as its “negative visual impact”. The scheme was to contain more than 82,000sq metres of offices.

But Carroll’s biggest setback was a High Court judgment last October quashing a fast-track planning permission from the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) for a € 200 million office development on the former Brooks Thomas site at North Wall Quay. The case was taken by Seán Dunne on the basis that the permission was discriminatory.

Carroll had lined up Anglo Irish Bank to take the first block as its new headquarters and had won a contest with Treasury Holdings to secure AIB Capital Markets for the second block – until it got cold feet. But the effect of the High Court judgment was to turn the concrete structure on the site into an “unauthorised development”, in planning terms.

The only way of salvaging the situation was to apply to the city council for permission to retain it, which was duly granted in January – with the DDDA’s support – against the backdrop of Seán Dunne seeking a High Court order to have the building demolished. The council’s decision is now being appealed by Dunne and Treasury Holdings.

Even if An Bord Pleanála endorsed retention of the partially built office block, it now seems unlikely that Anglo Irish Bank will need a new headquarters at this stage.

Carroll is also in danger of losing Marks Spencer as anchor for his Glashaus scheme in Tallaght; disappointed by the “footfall”, it has initiated court action to get out of its lease.

A € 60 million land-swap deal in 2006 under which Danninger would have acquired Dalymount Park in Phibsboro, in return for providing Bohemians with a new stadium at Harristown, near Dublin airport, is also in danger of collapsing because the football club lost a High Court case over the ownership of a small portion of the Phibsboro site.

Last October, Danninger settled an outstanding debt of € 140,000 with John Whyte Art Photography, which had taken the unusual step of petitioning the High Court to have Carroll’s company wound up over its failure to pay the bill which, it is understood, was for supplying a collection of fine art photographs for his two hotels in Tallaght.

The following month, Carroll had to halt construction of the massive Parkway Valley shopping centre in Limerick after failing to secure anchor tenants. However, he was reported to have hopes of rescuing this € 150 million scheme despite the downturn in consumer spending and the proliferation of new retail developments around the city.
XX

Also worth noting he has let nearly all of his staff go from an estimated high of 900 to about 60 left done in dribs and drabs so no official announcement


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 Post subject: Re: The Builders Revisited
PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:05 am 
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Quote:
A € 60 million land-swap deal in 2006 under which Danninger would have acquired Dalymount Park in Phibsboro, in return for providing Bohemians with a new stadium at Harristown, near Dublin airport, is also in danger of collapsing because the football club lost a High Court case over the ownership of a small portion of the Phibsboro site.


I'd say he's thanking god for small mercies...


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 Post subject: Re: The Builders Revisited
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:38 pm 
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Real Estate Developer

Joined: Mar 7, 2009
Posts: 984
swa wrote:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0303/1224242151285.html

The following month, Carroll had to halt construction of the massive Parkway Valley shopping centre in Limerick after failing to secure anchor tenants. However, he was reported to have hopes of rescuing this € 150 million scheme despite the downturn in consumer spending and the proliferation of new retail developments around the city.


Looks like this development could be completed
http://www.limerickpost.ie/index.php/navigation-mainmenu-30/local-news/3607-parkway-valley-sc-set-to-proceed.html

Quote:
INDIAN-born investor Suneil Sharma, who put the ill-fated Opera Centre package together, has now diverted his attention to the abandoned Parkway Valley Shopping centre, having completed negotiations with National Irish Bank to purchase the site. It has also emerged that Mr Sharma parted with €30 million in acquiring the adjoining retail park, a major success since it opened about eight years ago.

According to an Irish Times report, NIB, owned by Danske, the Danish banking group, had exposure of €100 million on the 15-acre site.


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