NAMA Seeks to Revive U2 Tower Project Shelved in 2008

Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency is seeking to resurrect a plan to build a residential property in Dublin known as the U2 Tower five years after the project was shelved.

NAMA and Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. (KW) have drafted proposals for the development of about 5 acres (2 hectares) of land in the city’s docklands district, including the U2 Tower site, according to a filing by Kennedy-Wilson to the city’s municipal authority. The building would have 18 stories, half as many as the original project endorsed by the Irish rock band.

Ireland’s real estate market is emerging from the biggest slump in western Europe, led by Dublin. Annual home prices across the country climbed in June for the first time in more than five years, the Central Statistics Office said this week. In Dublin, apartment values climbed almost 10 percent from a year earlier.

Kennedy-Wilson, the largest overseas buyer of Irish real estate since the market crashed in 2008, and NAMA “have collaborated their effort and inputs in devising an acceptable and viable scheme for their combined land holdings,” according to the filing. Kennedy-Wilson controls land between State Street Corp. (STT)’s Irish headquarters and the U2 Tower site.

David Clerkin, a spokesman for NAMA, declined to comment. Peter Collins, the Dublin-based managing director for Kennedy-Wilson’s European business, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

NAMA and Beverly Hills, California-based Kennedy-Wilson may also develop apartments and office buildings with as many as eight stories on their land, the filing shows. The document was submitted to Dublin City Council with the “knowledge and support” of the Irish bad bank, Kennedy-Wilson said in the filing that was prepared by planners Stephen Little & Associates on its behalf.

The original U2 Tower was to be built by developers Paddy McKillen and Ballymore Properties and would have been partly funded by members of the band. The Foster & Partners-designed skyscraper would have included a studio for U2 at the top of the tower.

NAMA took control of the site in 2011 from the state-owned Dublin Docklands Development Authority. Source: Bloomberg