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06 Jul 2022

Landmark historic Laois building for sale as apartment project

The Maltings site due to be converted to apartments

A ready to go apartment project in a historic building in the heart of Portlaoise near the town's train station is the market.

Laois-based estate agents Sherry Fitzgerald Hyland Keating has brought the 12 unit potential development at the derelict Minch Norton Maltings on Coote Street, Portlaoise to market at an asking price of €450,000.

The estate agents says the development has full planning permission to convert the existing industrial unit off the Mountmellick Road into apartments.

They say permission in place for four two bedroom duplex and eight two bedroom apartments in the historical building. The apartments range in size from 80m2 - 109m2.

A significant amount of work will be involved in converting the building into apartments due to the age and decay of the property.

A company called Holli's Corner was granted permission in May 2020 for the conversion of the landmark building into apartments. The directors of the company at the time were Derek Phelan and Mary Hennessy.

The building is part of a site of significant historic to Laois and Portlaoise. Malting began on the site in 1860s and it continued to be used for the purpose up to 1978 when it began to be used as a grain depot.

Holli's Corner say the property was purchased in the 1990s by the food company Greencore formerly, Irish Sugar, before being sold in 2003. New owners demolished many of the existing buildings on the site.

Maryborough Construction Holdings and had big plans for multi-million euro development in the v which collapsed during the Celtic Tiger property crash.

The development is located in front of a separate major development underway to another part of the former Maltings site. Work is ongoing on an extensive apartment and housing development by the Maltings and Granary Ltd. This company also received the goahead for a 101 bed nursing home.

A history of the property by Mervyn McGahey claimed that the beef baron Larry Goodman purchased Minch Norton in 1988 for £10 million. The account said Greecore purchased Food Industries from Larry Goodman in 1992.

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The former Minch Norton building was separated when the site was sold in 2011 after the property collapse. 

An asking price of €25 million was put on the site in 2008 as a forced sale. Maryborough Construction Holdings Ltd had already drawn down €23.5 million of a €84.5 million loan advanced by Anglo Irish Bank to purchase and develop the site.

The company tried to find an investor buyer to rescue the project at a cost of €33 million, but failed.

At the time it was reported as the first forced sale of a significant development site in this country since the start of the property crash.

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