Land Development Agency’s Acquisition of Units

Land Development Agency’s Acquisition of Units in Archers Wood, Delgany, County Wicklow

Dillon Eustace advised the Land Development Agency (LDA) on its acquisition of 142 duplex and apartment units at Archers Wood.

The LDA is a commercial, state-sponsored body created to coordinate land under public control for the purpose of providing affordable and social homes in Ireland. Its work is also intended to build communities across the country. The newly acquired units are to be used for cost-rental.

Dillon Eustace advised the LDA with a team comprising partner Kelly O’Hara, consultant Fiona O’Neill and solicitor Amy Murphy from its real estate and construction practices.


An Interview with Kelly O’Hara at Dillon Eustace

What role did you and the rest of the team at Dillon Eustace play in this acquisition?

The Archers Wood deal was one of the first transactions undertaken by the LDA under Project Tosaigh, a market engagement initiative launched by the LDA to accelerate the delivery of affordable housing in Ireland on non-state lands.

Cairn Homes, Ireland’s largest homebuilder, is the developer of Archers Wood. The deal involved the negotiation with the developer of a forward purchase contract for the delivery of the units in agreed phases. Our real estate and construction team was involved from the outset. We inputted into the heads of terms and negotiated the detailed development contract. Our role also included title investigation and agreeing a full suite of construction documents (including collateral warranties) and a suite of closing documents.

Following completion of construction of the units in separate phases, we finalised the purchase of the units for the LDA. This included ensuring that our client received the full pack of agreed form legal and technical completion documents at each phased completion.

What particular matters involved in the acquisition of the duplex and apartment units required your consideration?

As this was one of the first deals negotiated by the LDA under the Project Tosaigh initiative, we worked very closely with our client and its technical advisors to understand our client’s requirements. We also provided detailed advices on the draft transaction documents, highlighting potential issues from our client’s perspective and successfully negotiating amendments to take account of our client’s concerns and requirements, with particular emphasis on ensuring timely delivery of quality housing. All the negotiations were undertaken in a collaborative manner, with both parties clearly explaining their position and rationale, allowing agreement to be reached on terms acceptable to both parties.

As this was one of the first deals negotiated by the LDA under the Project Tosaigh initiative, we worked very closely with our client and its technical advisors to understand our client’s requirements.

Our client had strict reporting requirements and we provided comprehensive due diligence and title reports in an easily digestible form. In addition, we inputted into the management company documents for the scheme to ensure these clearly identified the management company’s responsibilities as well as our client’s service charge obligations.

Would you say that your work on this operation fits the profile of your law firm?

Dillon Eustace LLP has experienced projects teams which have consistently and successfully delivered large projects including residential development deals, loan sales, group reorganisations, e-discovery and regulatory investigations.

Our real estate and construction offering has seen us advising on some of the most significant real estate and development transactions in the Irish market over the last number of years. This includes acting for the investor in the forward purchase of 238 Private Rented Sector (PRS) apartments currently under construction on the Malahide Road, Dublin 17, representing one of the largest PRS deals signed in the first half of 2022; the acquisition, development and leasing of the EXO building, the tallest office block in Dublin and the acquisition and financing of the Waterside office portfolio in Citywest, Dublin 24 in February 2023.

We are also very active in the social housing area, including acting in the establishment of investment vehicles for the acquisition of social housing units, their leasing to local authorities and disposals to approved housing bodies.

The purchase of the first phase of units in Archers Wood for the LDA completed in November 2022. This was the first tranche of homes acquired by the LDA under Project Tosaigh. We were delighted to be appointed to represent the LDA on this historic transaction and look forward to continuing to work with them and other participants in the housing sector to help deliver housing in the Irish market.

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