[30 second version – it has been announced this morning that NAMA has sold the Cultra Railway Station nearly Holywood in county Down which had been previously purchased for development by MAR properties. The new owner is County Down businessman David Crowe who plans to renovate the dilapidated 100 year old building into two houses and there may be further development on the site in time. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed]
BTW Shiells seems to be doing brisk business in Northern Ireland on behalf of NAMA, and this morning it has been announced that a dilapidated former railway station in the village of Cultra near Holywood in county Down has been sold by NAMA to a local businessman, David Crowe. The purchase price has not been disclosed, though BTW Shiells had advertised the property for “offers around GBP 450,000” (€552,000).
It’s a building, described by some as an “eyesore”, that has been derelict for 40 years that sits on 0.75 acres and has planning permission for conversion to apartments. The new owner however intends renovating the existing structure which will provide two houses, and there may be further development on the site over time. The asking price was no doubt influenced by the attractions in the local area – Ulster’s Folk and Transport Museum 5 star hotel Culloden Estate and Spa.
The property was formerly owned by NAMAed Northern Ireland developer, the MAR group, founded in 1997 by Noel Murphy (“M”), Adam Armstrong (“A”) and William Rush (“R”). The group developed residential and commercial property in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England. NAMA has acquired GBP 3bn (€3.5bn) of loans from Northern Ireland by reference to original par values and paid GBP 1.26bn (€1.5bn), and to date, it has advanced €125m to Northern Irish developers for the development of projects, though some of this money has been spent in the mainland UK.
Statements accompanying this morning’s announcement included:
David Crowe said “despite the dilapidated state that this building has sadly been left to degenerate to, as a local resident I couldn’t sit by and watch it go to further rack and ruin.
Not only will we be working to improve the area, which we will be doing immediately, but for far too long this has been an eyesore for locals and tourists alike. This is the main rail stop for the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and this opportunity will further enhance the tourist attractions that this corner of north Down is famous for.
I must take this opportunity to commend the local councillors for their sterling work to ensure that this historic gem was not allowed to go the same way as so much of ourbuilt heritage.
I am now looking forward to sensitively restoring Cultra Railway Station in the months ahead.”
David Menary, Director of BTW Shiells said “the Cultra Station house has been in a very poor state of repair as far back as many of the local residents can remember, so it is great news that the original building is being restored. The regeneration of this historic Cultra landmark to a unique residential development is certain to attract significant interest when it is available on the open market.”
Howard Hastings, Managing Director of the Hastings Hotel Group said “Cultra Railway Station, which is adjacent to the Culloden Estate and Spa, is a beautiful building. I am only too delighted with the news that it will be restored to its former glory.
Mr Crowe’s ideas are very much in keeping with the area and residents and tourists alike will be able to view this beautiful building in the manner that the original architect intended. ”