Belfast Telegraph

Central Bank set for Anglo Irish HQ

The half-finished headquarters for toxic lender Anglo-Irish Bank is to be bought by Ireland's Central Bank, it has been revealed.

The eight-storey empty shell in the Dublin docklands - branded a Celtic Tiger tombstone - is being sold off as part of efforts to clear bad debts from the main banks.

The sealed-off site, now home to the huge grey skeleton, was once valued at 250 million euro but has been on the market with the National Asset Management Agency for 8-10m euro.

"We don't comment on speculation but we have previously expressed confidence that we would do a deal on this property in the medium term," a spokesman for Nama said.

It is understood that both Facebook and major finance house BNY Mellon had expressed an interest in the property, but that a deal between Nama and the Central Bank is in its final stages.

"No deal has been finalised," a spokeswoman for the Central Bank said. "And we don't comment on the specifics of individual negotiations."

The site, overlooking the north quay of Dublin's docklands and bordering the IFSC, was bought by publicity shy developer Liam Carroll, one of the biggest and first names to go bust in the recession.

His Zoe Developments group entered into liquidation in 2009 with debts of 1.3 billion euro and Judge Peter Kelly would later remark how the shell - as much a tourist attraction as a reminder of the property crash - was a "fitting tombstone to the Celtic Tiger".

Anglo agreed to take what would have been a landmark building while other Irish banks were understood to have been considering renting space for some back office operations.

One other suggested use for the seven-acre site was to turn it into a "true national asset" by creating a vertical park within its cement walls and floors. The radical proposal, The Trees on the Quays, had been proposed by architect Paschal Mahoney with the aim of having it ready for the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

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