While the sheer size of the Press Up Entertainment Group can make it difficult to get a precise handle on just how well the business is doing, the recent sale by the hospitality behemoth’s co-founder Matt Ryan of his family’s Dublin 2 home would seem to have been a runaway success.
A quick perusal of the Property Price Register shows that, having come to the market on October 20th with an asking price of €1.775 million, Ryan’s four-bedroom Lad Lane mews secured a premium of 20 per cent when it sold for €2.125 million just over eight weeks later on December 19th.
Ryan, a founder with Paddy McKillen jnr of the Press Up hospitality group and of the property development company Oakmount, had a long-standing family connection to Lad Lane; his maternal grandmother, author and short-story writer Mary Lavin, moved to number 11 with her three daughters in the 1960s. It was there, in Lavin’s informal salon, that Ryan’s mother, the late Irish Times journalist and literary editor Caroline Walsh frequently found herself in the company of established literary figures including Frank O’Connor, Benedict Kiely and Patrick Kavanagh, and those writers who were her contemporaries such as Colm Tóibín, Polly Devlin, Maeve Binchy and Nuala O’Faolain.
Having bought number 20 Lad Lane Upper for €470,000 in 2012, Ryan and his wife, Emma Hewson, engaged renowned architect Cathal O’Neill to work on its redevelopment. The works, completed in 2014, resulted in a sleek, modern home, capitalising on its unimpeded views of the Grand Canal.
Things seem to be going swimmingly for Ryan and McKillen’s Oakmount, too, with 20 per cent of its luxury apartment scheme, The Pinnacle in Mount Merrion, currently reserved or sold at price points of more than €1,000 per square foot, according to selling agent Knight Frank. They intend to launch the remaining units in the scheme later this year.
Not that it’s been all plain sailing for the developer duo. Ryan and McKillen got something of a knock-back earlier this week when Wicklow County Council poured cold water on their plan to develop a €40-million beach resort at Magheramore beach. The pair’s initial proposal included a surf school, accommodation, restaurant, bar, gym, cinema and outdoor pool.