Boxer buys abandoned apartments in Galway City

A Polish boxer has joined heavyweight property developers in the city after buying up an abandoned apartment development in Doughiska, the Galway City Tribune can reveal.

Albert Jarzebak – a 40-years-old boxer from Poland, but currently living in Kildare – snapped up Phase 2 of Fionnuisce in a sell-off of bad Irish loans by Lloyds Bank codenamed ‘Project Pittlane’.

The boxing-clever Pole is pushing to keep costs down in finishing out the 44 apartments in Fionnuisce because “feasibility margins are very low”.

The apartments were built by Stephen Harris and Bernard McKeon of Harrmack Developments, but the site was abandoned in 2008 when the property market collapsed.

The site was then seized by Bank of Scotland (Ireland), who had provided finance to Harrmack.

The bank’s parent company, Lloyds Banking Group in the UK, subsequently assembled up to 1,000 individual ‘bad’ loans in Ireland – mainly property-related defaults – as part of Project Pittlane and sold them off.

Mr Jarzebak – a heavyweight boxer who also runs the ‘Celtic Gladiator’ mixed martial arts fight night promotions company in Dublin – purchased the 44 unfinished apartments.

The apartments were previously branded a “disgraceful eyesore” by local councillor Terry O’Flaherty.

Under a newly-formed company, Doughuisce Developments, he has now sought planning permission to retain the work that has been carried out and to complete the 33 two-bed and 11 one-bed units, but asked planners not to apply further development levies. The planning permission has expired on-site and was originally for 50 apartments.

His project consultants wrote: “In the limitation presented by this application to regularise and complete a previously approved scheme, we request that Galway City Council avoid the inclusion of additional conditional financial contributions.

“In the context of the considerable scale and significant costs associated with the remedial works required to complete the development, feasibility margins are very narrow,” the application reads. Planners will decide on the future of the site in January.