A company behind a €100 million redevelopment plan for the Stillorgan Leisureplex in Dublin has failed to get a High Court injunction giving it vacant possession of the premises from its tenant.
KW Investments Funds ICAV claimed it would suffer a loss of €400,000 per month due to the delay in getting on site to start work on the project because Lorgan Leisure, which runs what was formerly known as the "Stillorgan Bowl" leisure centre, is refusing to give up possession.
Lorgan said it is entitled to a new lease on the property under landlord and tenant legislation. It claimed KW’s injunction application was an “ill-conceived attempt” to circumvent that legislation and the matter should be left to the Circuit Court which deals with landlord/tenant disputes of this nature.
On Friday, Mr Justice Denis McDonald dismissed KW’s application. He also stayed KW’s Commercial Court proceedings in relation to the matter pending determination of the new tenancy issue.
KW bought the premises in 2016 from the receivers for the previous owners, Tenderbrook Ltd, part of the Treasury group. It obtained planning permission for 232 “build-to-rent” apartments on the 1.33 hectare site, involving the demolition of the Leisureplex. KW had a short-term letting agreement allowing Lorgan to continue its operations at a rent of €220,000 per year.
Discussions followed with Lorgan director Ciaran Butler about including a bowling alley in the development but KW did not want this. An offer by Mr Butler to buy the premises was also rejected. Subsequently, the legal dispute over whether Lorgan was entitled to a new tenancy arose.
Mr Justice McDonald said there was no reason why the claim to a new tenancy cannot proceed to a conclusion with “all appropriate speed”.
If either party is unhappy with the outcome of that claim in the Circuit Court, there would appear to be a proper basis to have any appeal over it entered into the Commercial Court and that would be heard with appropriate expedition, he said.