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Archive for September 23rd, 2010

The Irish Examiner, citing Department of Education Assistant Secretary, Sean O’Foghlu, reports today that NAMA is being approached by the Department to see if sites for schools can be bought “cheaply” from the NAMA portfolio. NAMA of course exists to maximise returns for the taxpayer and has stated that it will engage in a competitive tendering process when disposing of real property. How will schools compete with alternative users of land?

Schools are very much in focus in recent days. Today the Construction Industry Federation warned that up to 50,000 construction jobs (in an economy where two days ago the CSO reported that 125,300 were employed in construction) might be lost if the government continues to stall on its school building programme. The government has already commited €579 million this year in a programme to create 23,500 places in 20 new schools as well as 32 extensions. What is puzzling some is why the government is holding back on planned capital expenditure when plainly it would create employment in constructing much needed infrastructure.

And only yesterday the Department of Education announced ambitious new plans to attract substantial numbers of foreign students to the English-speaking land of scholars. Where will they all be accommodated?

So it seems there is a nexus between construction employment needs, an economic opportunity, improving infrastructure and cheaper land (regardless of whether it is sourced from NAMA or not). What appears to be missing is the drive at the Department of Education to move things forward.

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Earlier this year, Property Week reported that NAMA Top 10 developer, Derek Quinlan had put a 248-vehicle capacity car park on the market with a GBP £180m (€211m) price tag. It is located in the heart of London’s Mayfair, one of the most expensive areas for real estate in the world. At the start of this year, Quinlan’s Park Rite secured planning permission to develop the site to provide 24 flats with amenities and a developed value of GBP 300m was mooted. There is now speculation that a sale has taken place and this is dealt with in another entry here today.

The Mayfair car park is one of 36 car parks in the Park Rite empire and chances are you have in the past paid Mr Quinlan for providing you with a parking space for a few hours. Here is a list of the car parking sites.

(1) Arnotts Car Park

(2) The Beacon South Quarter (Sandyford)

(3) Christchurch Car Park

(4) City Quay Car Park

(5) Convention Centre Dublin Car Park

(6) Croke Park Events Parking(Clonliffe College),

(7) DALKEY CHURCH CAR PARK,

(8) Drury Street Car Park

(9) Fleet Street Car Park(Temple Bar),

(10) HAROLD’S CROSS CHURCH CAR PARK,

(11) IFSC Car Park,

(12) Irish Life Car Park(Abbey Street),

(13) Mount Carmel Car Park,

(14) Parnell Street Car Park

(15) Pavilion Car Park(Dun Laoghaire),

(16) RAHENY CHURCH CAR PARK

(17) Smithfield Car Park,

(18) St. James’s Hospital Car Park,

(19) Tallaght Hospital Car Park

(20) The Square Town centre (Tallaght)

(21) AN SIBÍN PUB CAR PARK(DUNSHAUGHLIN),

(22) ARDEE TOWN,

(23) ARKLOW TOWN,

(24) Audley Square Car Park (Mayfair, London),

(25) Bridge Centre Shopping Centre(Tullamore),

(26) GALWAY PCCC CAR PARK,

(27) Hynes Yard Car Park(Galway),

(28) M3 MOTORWAY (DUNBOYNE),

(29) M3 MOTORWAY (KELLS),

(30) M4/M6 MOTORWAY (CAPPAGH),

(31) MUCKY DUCK PUB CAR PARK (CELBRIDGE),

(32) Parklands Car Park (Tralee),

(33) Texas Car Park (Athlone),

(34) University College Hospital Galway Car Park

(35) Whitewater Shopping Centre, (Newbridge),

(36) WICKLOW TOWN car park

Now that NAMA has said that it is taking over rent rolls, will NAMA also be collecting the cash received at these 36 car parking sites each day?

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Less than 2 weeks ago at the Richard Cantillon School of Economics in Tralee, NAMA CEO Brendan McDonagh revealed that NAMA was close to disposing of €500m of property. The next day the Irish Independent carried a report on the NAMA CEO’s speech which included the following “the agency is also preparing to sell off land worth around €500m as it tries to meet a target to dispose of a quarter of its portfolio by the end of 2013. The land will be sold by local auctioneers and those buying the land will not know that it is being sold by NAMA. The only signs that NAMA is active will be “realistic asking prices”, Mr McDonagh added”

News reaching NAMAwinelake suggests that the above property, a 248 bay car park in the heart of London’s Mayfair may be one of the first NAMA properties to be sold in the UK, though it is unclear if the property is being sold by owners Park Rite (whose directors include Derek Quinlan) or by NAMA, or under NAMA’s auspices.

The car park has the benefit of planning permission granted earlier this year by City of Westminster council for “demolition of existing buildings and erection of new building of eight /nine storeys (plus lower ground floor and four basement levels) to provide 24 residential units with swimming pool and gymnasium, creation of roof terraces, green roof”. The end use value has been estimated at GBP £300m.

And what about the price? There is speculation that the property achieved a remarkable GBP £180m (€211m) – the price quoted by PropertyWeek earlier this year and that it is subject to an Anglo loan of GBP £130m which may not just see the 100% payment of a NAMA loan but may make an extra GBP £50m available to pay other Quinlan debts.

Is NAMA finally beginning to realize its loans.

UPDATE: 12th October, 2011. The Financial Times (free registration required) is today reporting that British mobile phone tycoon John Cauldwell is set to purchase the car park for GBP 150m (€171m) which is GBP 30m (€34m) less than the price that it was speculated the site would generate just a year ago. Despite the central London residential market continuing to boom in the past year. Whilst the price reported is apparently more than NAMA paid for the loans, it is a little disappointing.

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