Apartments and townhouses project in Clongriffin, north Dublin, to cost €20m
Developer Gerry Gannon plans to build more than 80 apartments and townhouses in a project in north Dublin that industry figures value at €20 million.
Mr Gannon is a well-known figure in construction, and was one of the so-called Maple 10 who borrowed money from the now defunct Anglo Irish Bank to support the lender’s shares at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.
One of his companies, Gannon Properties, has just applied to Dublin City Council for permission to build 84 apartments and townhouses on Park Street in Clongriffin on the capital’s northside.
The company wants to build a combination of one-, two- and three-bedroomed apartments, 23 townhouses and two shops in two blocks at the site. Industry figures suggest the development could cost between €18 million and €20 million.
Gannon Homes has relied on backing from the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), which took over the group’s debts in 2010, since it reached an agreement with the State body in 2012.
The agency refused to comment yesterday on whether it was funding the Clongriffin project. However, in accounts published last November Gannon Homes said it continued to rely on Nama’s support.
Mr Gannon told the Oireachtas banking inquiry that the agency bankrolled his group’s initial return to the market in 2013 when it built and sold 13 homes, also in Clongriffin.
It subsequently financed another 19 houses in the suburb, and the group then went on to a larger development at Miller’s Glen in Swords, Co Dublin. Mr Gannon said around that time that it aimed to build and sell 500 homes in the area.
Shortly before Christmas the company announced plans to build 260 homes at Belcamp on the Malahide Road, a project that also has Nama’s backing.
Its most recently published accounts show that Gannon Homes owed €194 million to its banks at the end of 2014.
Most of this would have been due to Nama as, along with Anglo, its original lenders included AIB, Irish Nationwide and Bank of Ireland, all of which transferred their property loan books to the agency.
Gannon Homes’s 2014 returns showed that the group sustained the previous year’s return to profit. Its operating surplus was €6.7 million, 30 per cent less than the €10.7 million it generated in 2013.
A €2.3 million interest bill left it with pre-tax profits of €4.4 million in 2014, a slide of 47 per cent on the €8.2 million reported the previous year.
Its balance sheet showed that the company was almost €130 million in the red on the back of its €194 million debt.
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