City sales set to net £250m for Ireland

A NUMBER of major City property developments are expected to come up for grabs for £250m when a long-awaited sale by Irish investors begins next month.

Among the buildings ready to be sold it 107 Cheapside, the upmarket development near St Paul’s Cathedral.

The office and retail building, opened three years ago, was developed by Irish property firm Menolly but the debt secured against it was taken on by the National Asset Management Agency (Nama), the Irish “bad bank” set up to hold weak property loans made during the boom over the last decade.

Senator House, owned by Avestus, could be sold for around £77m as well as a third, Irish-owned building which could go for £50m.

The sales would be the latest move in a lengthy reshuffle of commercial property assets following the financial crisis in Ireland..

Nama was created to purge Irish banks of their risky real estate loans. It is one of the world’s largest property groups and has shelled out nearly €31bn (£27.46bn) for loans with a nominal value of over €71bn, covering assets ranging from skyscrapers at Canary Wharf to agricultural land in the Irish countryside.

Analysts say there is a shortage of prime London office space, which has been worsened by confusion around new planning laws and a dearth of construction during the downturn.

Nama is also believed to be ready to sell Eagle House, a partially built £65m residential tower in Hoxton.

Agents Cushman & Wakefield have reportedly been appointed to sell the building at 159 City Road.

Neither Nama or Avestus responded to requests for comment yesterday, while Menolly could not be contacted.