The “shock” is that the occupiers yesterday were actually able to identify and find what now does appear to have been a NAMA building, because the description of the building on the NAMA foreclosure list (see below) was so misleading as to confuse all but the most tenacious of protesters. God alone knows how misleading the NAMA description is for potential purchasers of NAMA property.
The building occupied by protesters yesterday was 66-67 Great Strand Street which is in central Dublin, the Smithfield area – Dublin 1 to be precise but close to Dublin 7. The postal number is important as you’ll see anon. Video and pictures from the interior of the building suggest it was suitable for office use, though it seems the last known use of the building was by Roches Stores for storage of merchandise.
It now seems that the property may well have been on the latest NAMA foreclosure list but shown as Dublin 2 – see below – which is the other side of the Liffey. There is no “Great Strand Street” in Dublin 2.Because the list is sorted by postal area if you looked in the correct place on the NAMA list -Dublin 1 – you wouldn’t find it. And the NAMA description omits any street number, it just says “Great Strand Street”. So if you are finding NAMA receivers or estate agents slow to respond to you – a not uncommon complaint – or you just want to get a rough assessment of the building without giving your name and details to the agent, then you’re pretty well obstructed. The NAMA description of the building is now “Development – commenced” but earlier last year in the July 2011 foreclosure list, there were two entries shown for Great Strand Street and one was in Dublin 1 and that entry was then shown as “warehouse”
NAMA came in for criticism from Fine Gael TD, Mary Mitchell O’Connor in the Dail last November 2011 for the Agency’s sloppy description of a property in Booterstown. And in a separate recent case, although the address was probably correct, NAMA seems to have confined the marketing of a 125-acre €4m development property in Cork, to erecting signage in a few fields in Cork. So if you were a Dublin, Limerick, Galway or Belfast developer in the market for a major €4m property, you would need to have been on quite a motoring detour to even see the sign.
NAMA started foreclosing on property in 2010 but it was only July 2011 that the Agency produced its first foreclosure list. The list is in a PDF format which cannot be sorted which makes establishing property removed from the previous list a major challenge. In fact NAMA seems to be going out of its way to obstruct the accurate advertising of the foreclosed property on which the Agency is mandated, by the NAMA Act to, sell so as to maximise returns to the taxpayer. So sloppy is the Agency that the last foreclosure list issued on 22nd December 2011 omitted all pre-November 2011 foreclosed property for sale. This error was corrected without any announcement by the Agency on 3rd January 2012.
The Agency previously reported that its first foreclosure list attracted some 98,000 hits on the NAMA website, but the Agency seems not to have been able to take the hint that this was, and is, the most valuable and sought-after information the Agency produces so it is in the Agency’s interest to ensure the listing is accurate and as easy to use as is feasible. No wonder Treasury Holdings don’t want NAMA appointed as receivers if this is the sort of sloppy administration and marketing, representative of the NAMA way of doing things.
So well done to the occupiers yesterday for actually being able to find 66-67 Great Strand Street (in Dublin 1). But spare a thought for potential buyers that might actually want to spend money on NAMA foreclosed assets.
NAMA will produce its seventh foreclosure list in the next couple of days. Will the Agency produce information in a sortable format? Will the Agency still need protesters and occupiers to uncover NAMA errors?