Belfast Telegraph

Developer Padraig Drayne set to build luxury apartments in Malahide

By John Mulligan

Northern Ireland property developer Padraig Drayne is planning to build an exclusive multi-million euro apartment development in the well-heeled Dublin suburb of Malahide, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

Mr Drayne's firm, Apamore Services, has applied to Fingal County Council for permission for a five-storey building that will include 23 apartments.

It's a relatively small-scale project for the developer, who joined forces with Belfast-born Paddy McKillen to build the Jervis Street shopping centre in Dublin over 20 years ago.

They bought a three-acre site in the city centre for just £6m in 1994 and then spent £76m (€96m) developing the site.

In 2014, Mr McKillen and Mr Drayne refinanced £110m of their debts from Ulster Bank, with backing from Bank of Ireland.

The loans were owed by a company called Belfast Office Properties. Its assets included the Forge Shopping Centre in Glasgow, as well as the Ards Shopping Centre in Newtownards.

Mr Drayne has also been involved in other residential projects in Northern Ireland.

He also became embroiled in Paddy McKillen's lengthy legal battle against the billionaire Barclay brothers, in the fight to control the Maybourne hotel group.

The Maybourne group includes luxury properties, such as Claridge's, the Connaught and the Berkeley. It was bought for almost €900m in 2004 by a consortium led by financier Derek Quinlan.

Mr Drayne was one of the original investors in the deal, but he later sold his shares in the venture to Mr McKillen.

The Barclays later secured a share in the Maybourne holding company Coroin and tried to wrest control of the group from Mr McKillen.

Last year, the Qatari royal family acquired both Mr McKillen's and the Barclay brothers' stakes in Coroin and retained Mr McKillen as adviser.

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