Sunday 23 October 2016

Dundrum mogul Joe O'Reilly buys up Sean Dunne's D4 site

Developer Joe O'Reilly
Developer Joe O'Reilly

Dundrum Town Centre's property mogul, Joe O'Reilly, has purchased the Ballsbridge site formerly owned by Sean Dunne.

Mr O'Reilly got the site for a snip at €155m compared with the €380m paid by bust developer Sean Dunne in 2005.

The so-called 'Baron of Ballsbridge' had great plans for the site and planned to bring a piece of "Knightsbridge to Ballsbridge" but his plans never got off the ground.

Mr O'Reilly has teamed up with a Middle East investment group in a bid to buy the former Jurys and Berkeley Court Hotels in Dublin.

Mr O'Reilly's Chartered Land is believed to have been named preferred bidder for the seven-acre site and the two hotels, which sit on some of the most valuable land in the country.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is understood to be backing Chartered Land in the €155m bid.


The sale process is yet to be completed, but Mr O'Reilly's bid is expected to be successful.

Mr O'Reilly and his businesses are one of Nama's biggest debtors.

However, as this deal is being fully funded by ADIA, and the property is not related to Nama, it is unlikely the state bad bank would object.

Under the plan, ADIA will finance the purchase, and Chartered Land will manage the site.

Unlike the sale of other hotels in recent months, such as the Westin in central Dublin and the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge, the two hotels would be attractive for their redevelopment value as much as a going concern.

There is existing planning permission for the site for more than 550 apartments across 11 blocks and a 150-bedroom hotel.

That planning will expire in 2021.

Chartered Land is actively selling assets at present as it repays its Nama debts.

It sold its Grand Canal Square office blocks earlier this year for €232m.

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