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Property company records profit for last year

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A company belonging to one of the biggest property developers in the West recorded a profit of almost €2 million for 2014, according to newly-filed accounts.

According to the directors of Granelt Properties Ltd – which is owned by Bernard Duffy and is a subsidiary of TBD Group Holdings – NAMA has agreed to a business plan for asset disposal.

In the accounts for the year ended December 2014, the company reported a profit just shy of €2m (there was a loss of €1.1m recorded the previous year), and net liabilities were reduced from €32.5m to €29.7m.

However, the company’s auditors noted it incurred an operating loss (before exceptional gains) for 2014 of €662,000.

Included in the company’s liabilities are €10.7m as part of a joint venture in the name of ‘DH Partnership’ – this includes almost €7.1m in a bank loan, more than €3.5m in interest, and €106,000 owed to the fellow joint venture party.

That party is developer Hugh Heskin, and the loans are understood to relate to 21 acres at Parkmore on the Tuam Road in Galway, where the partnership secured planning permission for 90 homes.

The directors have made an impairment provision of €10.3m on the value of the Tuam Road site – which would leave it with a value of €270,000. This is based on directors’ valuations.

“The outlook for the property market has declined since the company’s core assets were acquired and the value of those assets has declined.

“The outlook for the property market in general has significantly increased the uncertainty in relation to the carrying value of its joint venture asset and work in progress.

“The company’s principal banking facilities and those of its subsidiaries have been transferred to NAMA. The company has submitted a business plan to NAMA which sets out the directors’ proposals for the orderly process of completion and asset disposal, over a certain period.

“This business plan has been reviewed and accepted by NAMA. The successful implementation of this business plan is dependent on the ongoing support of NAMA. These conditions indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt upon the company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” the directors’ report reads.

The company is owed €3.5m by its parent company TBD Group Holdings, and has made a provision for the non-recoverability of that.

Meanwhile, accounts for the parent company show a loss for the year-ended 2014 show a loss of just under €434,000, and net liabilities of €7.3m.

Mr Duffy is best known for building the likes of the Harbour Hotel and House Hotel in the city centre, and for taking over the Baily Point complex in Salthill.

The company has also constructed – itself and for clients – significant office, residential, carpark and retail developments across Dublin in investments which had been valued at more than €150m. Other major projects include redevelopment work at NUIG, the Bons Secours Hospital, Sligo IT, the construction of the Abbott Pharmaceutical Plant in Sligo, and extension to Medtronic.

CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors back bid to ban city centre parking in Galway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors have unanimously agreed to ask Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to limit parking to residents only in the city centre.

Pedestrians in the city are being treated like second-class citizens, according to the Mayor, who said cars continued to get the priority on Galway’s streets.

At a meeting of the City Council this week, Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) said the city had come to a standstill in car traffic, and pedestrians and cyclists were suffering the consequences.

“At junctions, why am I a second-class citizen in my own city as a pedestrian? It rains in Galway for 300 days of the year, but I am a second-class citizen when priority is given to motorists.

“It’s always the pedestrian that waits,” she said, hitting out at the length it took to get a green light to cross at pedestrian crossings.

One way to reduce the number of cars in the city centre would be to limit parking to residents only in the city centre, said the Mayor.

In a motion she proposed, seconded by Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind), councillors unanimously agreed to write to the Minister for Transport to demand he pass the necessary legislation to enable the Council to do this.

The Mayor said residents were “sick, sore and tired” of people parking where they wanted when they visited the city and said despite a desire to introduce this measure going back almost 20 years, the Council was hamstrung by national legislation that prevented them from proceeding.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Planners approve homes for ‘cuckoo fund’ investor

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The green light has been given for the construction of 345 apartments at the Crown Square site in Mervue – the majority of which will be put on the rental market and operated by a ‘cuckoo fund’ for a minimum of fifteen years.

Crown Square Developments, which is owned by developer Padraic Rhatigan, has secured permission from An Bord Pleanála for the ‘Build to Rent’ development, with four blocks ranging ranging from four to nine storeys in height.

There will also be a neighbourhood facility with a gym, a primary care medical centre with pharmacy, a ‘working from home’ lounge, six shops, a games room and a creche.

There will be 240 two-bed apartments, 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds, all of which will be specifically for the rental market and not available to purchase.

A breakdown of the apartments shows there will be 240 two-beds; 86 one-beds and 19 three-beds.

To meet social housing requirements, the developer plans to transfer 35 of the apartments (20 two-bed, 10 one-bed and 5 three-bed) to Galway City Council.

A total of 138 car-parking spaces have been allocated on the lower basement levels of Crown Square for residents, along with shared access to another 109 spaces and another 13 for use by a ‘car club’. There will be 796 secure bicycle parking spaces to serve the apartments.

The Board has ordered that the apartments can only be used as long-term rentals, and none can be used for short-term lettings.

Under ‘Build to Rent’ guidelines, the development must be owned and operated by an institutional entity for a minimum period of 15 years and “where no individual residential units shall be sold separately for that period”. The 15-year period starts from the date of occupation of the first residential unit.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Councillors divided over vote on Salthill Prom cycleway

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to install a temporary two-way cycle lane along Salthill Promenade hangs in the balance, with city councillors split ahead of a vote next week.

On Monday night, the 18 city councillors will discuss Mayor Colette Connolly’s motion that the lane be installed on the coastal side of the road from Blackrock to a point opposite Galway Business School.

A poll of the councillors carried out by the Galway City Tribune yesterday found nine in favour of the proposal, with one indicating they will abstain. A simple majority is required and if there is a 9-9 split, the Mayor holds a ‘casting’ vote, effectively a second vote.

There has been a flurry of lobbying by cycling campaigners urging councillors to vote in favour, as well as some complaints from residents worried it will again impinge on their parking as visitors to Salthill seek somewhere to park up while they swim or walk along the most utilised resource the city has.

During lockdown, Gardaí removed parking on the Prom to deter people from gathering in a public space. This resulted in motorists blocking driveways and entering private estates, leading one estate off Threadneedle Road to hire a private clamping company.

Mayor Colette Connolly (Ind) believes there are a maximum of 250 spaces that would be lost to the project on one side of the road as currently proposed, including seven disabled spaces, which could be reassigned close by.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read extensive coverage of the issue and to see how each councillor intends to vote, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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