Sean Mulryan on the crash, leaving NAMA, and opportunities in Dublin

The developer has his eye on the former Glass Bottle Site in Ringsend...

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Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore Properties is interested in pursuing additional commercial and residential property opportunities in the Greater Dublin Area, utilising the Asian sources of finance he has used to develop major mixed schemes in London.

Mr Mulryan spoke to Newstalk's Breakfast Business ahead of the imminent launch of Project Wave the five-acre, 600,000 sq ft commercial and residential development in Dublin’s North Docklands beside the new Central Bank Headquarters and close to the 3Arena.

He believes that there are gaps in the property market in the capital, "Right now there is a shortage of high quality office space in central Dublin. We think that’s there for the next two to three years, we’re taking the opportunity in the marketplace."

The developer adds that Ballymore is "always looking for new opportunities," and that the former glass bottle site in Ringsend in south-Dublin is of particular interest:

"A lot of people are going to be interested, it’s a very significant site. It’s a big opportunity, you’re going to have a lot of people looking at that when the opportunity arises," he said, adding that Ballymore is likely to throw its hat in the ring.

When asked about business before the crash, he reflects, "It was on a knife edge for everybody," and continues, "If the banks can go down, there’s nobody [who’s] safe."

Mr Mulryan confirmed Ballymore plans to leave NAMA by the end of this calendar year having repaid €2.6bn in original borrowings plus interest - he adds that the company has been through an "extraordinarily difficult - long eight years."

While some developers have complained about NAMA's way of doing business, Mr Mulryan believes that the agency has dealt as well as it could with the task that it was given:

"In fairness, NAMA had an impossible task, I mean the world’s biggest property development company, by three times the amount of property. It was nearly impossible, even for a property company to handle it.

When questioned about the Irish residential market, Mr Mulryan says that the Government need to take action to tackle the cost of delivering houses.