RTÉ set to gain extra €15m windfall for Montrose land

Cairn Homes is reportedly the frontrunner for the in-demand D4 property...

RTÉ's decision to sell a nine acre slice of its Montrose complex could earn the national public service broadcaster far more than it had anticipated.

Cairn Homes is considered the frontrunner in the race to purchase a prime site near Donnybrook village in Dublin 4, with The Irish Times reporting bids of nearly €90m lodged.

Savills had set out a guide price of €75m for the land.

A decision on the successful bidder is expected this week, possibly following an RTÉ board meeting on Thursday.

Irish property group Cairn is understood to have a fully-funded bid that doesn't require external finance, having raised €51.9m in gross proceeds from a share placing last month.

Developer Michael O'Flynn is also thought to be in the running, backed by the New York-based Avenue Capital Group, as well as former Treasury Holdings co-founder Richard Barrett.

Cairn confirmed that it was interested in building 400 to 500 apartments on the land after a recent AGM, with chief executive Michael Stanley acknowledging that the RTÉ land was "one of a number of potential opportunities for the company". 

He said there was "scope" to build 10 to 15 houses, but the apartments were his preference.

Stanley said that Dublin needs more apartments to deal with an influx of post-Brexit business and accommodate those looking to downsize.

Arguing that "housing needs change and the market evolves", Stanley also claimed that Cairn was "one of the few companies that can build apartments today in Ireland and with the continuing employment in Dublin, I think they are badly needed".