Decision on Dunne’s New York project plans next month

Apartments in building would range from $3.3m to $7.7m

The site in New York City being developed by TJD21, the property company controlled by John Dunne, son of bankrupt developer Seán Dunne

The site in New York City being developed by TJD21, the property company controlled by John Dunne, son of bankrupt developer Seán Dunne

 

The son of bankrupt developer Seán Dunne will learn next month whether he can build a $21.5 million (€16 million) apartment and retail development in the trendy SoHo neighbourhood of New York city.

The New York City Board of Standards and Appeals accepted the final submissions filed by TJD21, the property company controlled by John Dunne, at a public hearing yesterday at which the company outlined its proposal to construct a five-storey building with four floors of apartments above retail space on the ground floor.

Rejecting a suggestion by the planners for a 9m yard to the rear of the proposed Manhattan building, the company said the planners’ preferred version would not be worth building for a profit of $653,000 on the site at 74 Grand Street based on an economic analysis of the reduced size of the building.

In a bid to win over the support of planners, the company submitted revised plans last week seeking permission for a new building with a 6m back yard and dropped plans to build balconies to the rear of the new property that, the firm estimated, would make a more feasible profit of $3 million.

‘Put to a vote’

Speaking at a brief hearing at the Department of City Planning in Lower Manhattan, the board’s chairman Meenakshi Srinivasan said the planners were “very satisfied” with the company’s response to their concerns.

She scheduled the project to be put to a vote of the city’s five planning commissioners on May 6th, which, if approved, would pave the way for construction work to begin soon after.

Addressing concerns about the effect of the larger building on light and air, Judy Gallent of law firm Bryan Cave, for Mr Dunne’s company, said the site was “uniquely constrained” being set back from a corner site.

Prices conservative

Mr Dunne’s firm told the board the building it wants to construct on the site would cost $18.5 million, funded by a construction loan of $13.5 million, and would ultimately be worth $21.5 million.

Apartments in the building would range in price from $3.3 million to $7.7 million for the penthouse, at prices of up to $2,400 per square foot. These prices may be conservative for properties in SoHo. Apartments in a building being constructed opposite the site are priced at $3,500 a square foot.

Seán Dunne, who filed for bankruptcy in the US last year with debts of $942 million, told a creditors’ meeting in December that his son, and his wife, Gayle Killilea Dunne, had an ownership interest in the site.

The National Asset Management Agency, a creditor, has claimed his wife’s firms are developing properties in the US using money he fraudulently transferred to her, a legal claim he is contesting.