Work restarts on ghost estate

a WELL known Laois developer has moved in to finish one of Portlaoise’s eyesore unfinished housing estates.

a WELL known Laois developer has moved in to finish one of Portlaoise’s eyesore unfinished housing estates.

In the process Owenass/ONS Developments will put apartments back on the market for almost €200,000 less than what they were selling for during the Celtic Tiger years.

Brothers Pat and Sean Flanagan, have purchased the unfinished apartments and houses at Rinuccini, Dublin Road. Work stopped on the estate, two years ago. But the Flanagan brothers now hope to have the exterior work on all of the buildings complete in less than six months and some are currently ready for occupancy.

“Teams of local carpenters, plumbers, electricians and other tradespeople are working to complete the various elements of the scheme,” Pat Flanagan said.

The developers are also providing the finance for first time buyers to help them overcome the problems some people are experiencing with mortgage lenders.

“A two-bed apartment, for example, can be bought for a €5,000 deposit and monthly payments of €550 over a fifteen year period,” he said.

Three years ago, these two bed apartments were on sale for €268,000 and now are available for €70,000.

“The interest has been terrific, with deposits taken for 20 per cent of the units in just 20 days. Many people realise that prices cannot fall any lower and have decided to move while value like this is available,” he said.

Mr Flanagan would not comment on what price they had paid for the development or from whom they had been purchased. He could not confirm if the properties had been sold through NAMA. He also declined to say what condition the buildings were in - some have been exposed to the weather for the past two winters.

Kieran Kehoe, senior executive officer with the council’s planning department said Laois County Council were aware that a local developer had purchased the site.

“Laois County Council welcome the fact that work will be completed on the estate over the next few months,” he said.