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Archive for September 10th, 2011

You sometimes forget how the agency with the little acronym, NAMA, has such a wide reach into so many aspects of this country’s life. And although just 7% of the property assets securing NAMA loans are located outside the  UK and Ireland, we are reminded again today that NAMA has a long reach. In the west Florida city (50,000-population) of Sarasota, it seems that NAMA is facing a legal challenge over the ownership of land, originally purchased by a consortium led by veteran developer Paddy Kelly.

It was 2004 when the Paddy Kelly-led consortium, Irish American Management Services bought a 15-acre plot of land next to the sea in Sarasota (pictured here) and the plan was to develop a hotel, apartments and shops. A straight-forward enough development in a location that’s not all that exotic; it was going to be a USD $1bn development and the consortium was obviously hoping to make a handsome profit. The consortium included NAMAed John McCabe and also John Walsh. The purchase price was reported to be USD $60m though it is now reported that Anglo advanced a total of USD $100m for the project.

Fast forward to the present day and a company, CMR Bayside, controlled by Florida businessman, Mark Famiglio is seemingly about to lock horns with NAMA over whether a contract for sale, or an option to buy, had previously been agreed. It is not clear what the purchase price would be – in December 2009 it was reported that a sale of the land for USD $25m was imminent – but the claim is that a USD $1m deposit has been paid. It is not clear to whom the deposit was allegedly paid – Paddy, Anglo, NAMA or indeed when it was paid but the “deal” has been rumbling on since at least 2009, it seems. NAMA appears to be disputing the existence of any contract, with its legal representative in Florida saying “he [Mark Famiglio] once had a contract, which he terminated during the due diligence period. The contract was terminated by him.”

Perhaps it’s just another wrangle with legal overtones that you often get amongst the development community, but it just goes to show how NAMA gets into the life of other communities, in other countries – a big agency with a little acronym.

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