New fund will develop land in Dublin’s docklands
Nama teams up with Bennett Construction and US-based Oaktree Capital Management
Local youths enjoy the fine weather at Grand Canal Dock, near the tract of land earmarked for development. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh
Nama has teamed up with Bennett Construction and US-based Oaktree Capital Management, one of the world’s biggest distressed assets investors, to launch a fund that will develop a huge tract of land in the vicinity of the once-mooted U2 tower in Dublin’s docklands.
The South Docks Fund, in which Nama has taken a minority stake, owns a site on Hanover Quay that Nama acquired from the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) as well as another adjacent site, understood to have been acquired by Oaktree. The land has development potential of up to 50,000sq ft, the fund said.
The docklands fund is a sub-fund of an umbrella fund, Targeted Investment Opportunities. It is registered as a Qualifying Investment Fund (QIF) with the Central Bank. QIFs are tax-efficient investment vehicles. Oaktree is acting as investment manager to the fund, while Bennett will be the property manager.
The site, which Nama acquired from the DDDA as part of a settlement to release the docklands agency from €29m of loan guarantees related to the Irish Glass Bottle site, is directly behind the offices of the law firm Matheson.
It sits next to the site of the once-proposed U2 tower, which was to have been developed by Liam Carroll.
The general area, which is close to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, is a mecca for U2 fans and tourists because the band have a recording studio nearby.
Justin Bickle, the managing director of Oaktree, said it was “delighted to provide the capital necessary” to build mixed-use schemes on the docklands tract.
Nama said the site was of “strategic importance” in terms of providing premises for foreign investors. “Our investment is a welcome first step in unlocking the significant potential of the south docks,” said Brendan McDonagh, chief executive of Nama.