Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Negotiations put U2 Tower in jeopardy

Gavin Daly

The future of the planned U2 Tower in Dublin is uncertain, with negotiations ongoing between the backers of the €200 million project and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA).

Geranger, a consortium made up of U2, Ballymore Properties, property developer Paddy McKillen, and architect Norman Foster, was named preferred bidder for the project last October. Paul Maloney, chief executive of the DDDA, said last month that he expected an agreement by the end of July, but no deal has yet been reached on the 130-metre tower.

"Given current market conditions, the DDDA and Geranger Ltd have agreed to extend the negotiation period to allow for further analysis and for design issues relating to the Dodder bridge," a spokeswoman for the DDDA said last Friday.

The DDDA has refused to comment on the timescale for the negotiations, which focus on financial, legal and technical aspects of the project.

The property market has suffered a dramatic slump since Geranger submitted its proposal for the tower, which would be topped with a pod-shaped recording studio for U2. In its annual report, published last month, the DDDA said the U2 Tower was due to be completed in 2011.

The Watchtower, the 120-metre tower that is part of Harry Crosbie's Point Village development, is under construction, although architectural sources said that its design had been changed to allocate more floor space to offices rather than apartments.

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