Irish Glass Bottle site lures bids from Ballymore to Ronan Group

Marlet Property Group, led by developer Pat Crean, also among parties to submit an offer

The National Asset Management Agency (Nama) has secured first-round offers from a number of bidders, including Sean Mulryan's Ballymore Group and US real estate group Hines, for an 80 per cent stake in the former Irish Glass Bottle Site in Ringsend, according to sources.

At least some of the bids for a controlling stake in the 37-acre site, submitted ahead of a deadline on Thursday, are in excess of €130 million, they said.

Developer Johnny Ronan's Ronan Group Real Estate (RGRE) and Los Angeles-based property company Colony Capital have filed a joint bid, while Marlet Property Group, led by developer Pat Crean, was also among parties to submit an offer, they said.

Representatives for Nama, which put the majority stake on the market in July with a price tag of more than €125 million, Ballymore, Hines, RGRE and Marlet declined to comment.


Boom time

The so-called Poolbeg West strategic development zone, covering the 25-acre glass bottle land and a neighbouring 12-acre site that was assembled by boom-time developer Liam Carroll's Fabrizia Developments, was formally adopted by An Bord Pleanála in April.

The two sites, secured by Nama in the wake of the property crash as borrowings set against them went into default, have the potential to deliver 3,500 homes for 8,000 people, 10 per cent of which would comprise social housing and a further 15 per cent affordable housing, according to the agency.

Up to one million square feet of commercial space as well as school sites and community areas are also envisaged.

Family houses

However, there is concern in some quarters that there is no provision in the master plan for the building of family houses.

A group called Becbay, comprising developer Bernard McNamara, property financier Derek Quinlan and State agency the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, acquired the bottle site for €412 million in an Anglo Irish Bank-backed deal in 2006. The sellers were a Dublin-listed company called South Wharf, a Paul Coulson offshoot of the former Irish Glass Bottle Company; and Dublin Port, freeholder of the land.

The site was subsequently seized by receivers appointed by Nama in 2012. Nama-appointed receivers took over the Fabrizia plot a year earlier as part of a wider Carroll Group action.

Meanwhile, it is believed that Lone Star's property development arm, Quintain, has been interested in submitting a bid to Nama for the 80 per cent stake in the site that's on offer. However, sources could not confirm whether the company had submitted a bid.

Connecticut-headquartered Starwood Property Trust has also been linked to the process. Spokesmen for the firm didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times