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REO plans $1.2 bln North Dublin building project

Source: Reuters - Mon 21st Sep 2009

Real Estate Opportunities plc said on Monday it had secured planning permission for a 800 million euro ($1.2 billion) regeneration project in Ballymun, one of Dublin's most deprived areas.

The scheme, which will include hundreds of apartments, retail and office space and leisure amenities, would be a rare boost for Ireland's virtually stalled construction sector if funding is secured and building work starts as planned in 2010. "At 255,000 square metres, Spring Cross as the development will be known, represents the largest mixed use town centre permission that has ever been granted in Ireland" REO said in a statement.

Last week the government outlined plans for the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), a "bad bank" that will pay 54 billion euros for banks' risky commercial property loans to cleanse their balance sheets and help kickstart lending.

REO, part of the Treasury Holdings Group, one of Ireland's biggest property companies, would not comment on the Ballymun's project's implications for NAMA.

"It's an absolute vote of confidence in the construction and property industry" said Ken Cribbin, president of the Society of Chartered Surveyors.

"An announcement such as this we haven't heard for quitesome time" Cribbin told public radio RTE.

Ballymun, which is close to Dublin Airport, has also benefited from the opening this summer of the first IKEA furniture store in the Republic of Ireland. ($1=.6802 Euro)

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