Sunday, November 9, 2008

Holy Mackerel....call the cops Basil...

In January of 2006 a dentist from Ireland Richard Fitzgerald hires a former bar manager Eoin Little to buy the broken down Summerside Waterfront Mall. Everyone anointed them as Developers and they immediately announced a $25,000,000.00 seven storey condo project to be built on top of the mall roof. When I saw the sketches of this seven storey wonder I rolled my eyes but I didn't want to cast doubts on the project as a scaled down version might have worked. The media certainly jumped on the band wagon with the promoter (as if the units were already built) and I can remember the CBC heading up to Anglo/Tignish when the same developer announced a "gated upscale summer retreat development" as if it were some God given success..... they could sell “Ice to the Eskimos”….. when the Silver Fox Curling Club reasonably objected to losing some of their parking the media made Club members out as villains.... the Developers bounced a $300,000.00 cheque to the architects and refused to pay their bills... the Mayor and some Town officials headed on the Town's tab across to Ireland to beg the Developer to go ahead.... a number of years ago Bruce MacDonald a local Summerside lawyer who was then a Town Councillor was trying to award a small contract to a local firm Richardson Associates. When his fellow Councillors over ruled him in favour of an off Island firm Bruce commented that it seemed "you couldn't get ahead on PEI unless you had a briefcase and a tie and were from Aulac, N.B."... well guys have a look at the story below it appears that... Richard Fitzgerald's Oran Group bought a waste company for about $90 million Canadian and sold it for $20 million a couple of years later... and somehow I don't think they are going to do as well when they unload the mall... It's a shame that people get hoodwinked by some glossy drawings but it seems we Islanders want to believe anybody and anything from away... here are a few of the older stories on the mall development..
http://www.orangroup.com/html/news_8.html
and on the parking fiasco
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2006/11/16/mall-silverfox.html
Recyclers Oran sold to Response at €35m discount
By John Mulligan
Independent News
Saturday May 03 2008
Cork businessman Richard Fitzgerald has sold his Scottish recycling firm to the Cork-based Response Group in a deal that is likely to have valued the firm in excess of €10m.
The final purchase price could represent a discount to the €45m that Mr Fitzgerald's Oran group paid for the business in 2005. The operation was owned by the Snowie family at the time, which sought €60m when the business was originally put on the market in 2004.
The Response Group is headed by Noel Hanley, and it's claimed the deal will boost the firm's annual turnover to roughly €100m.
When Mr Fitzgerald, a well-known dentist turned developer, acquired the Scottish business, it was renamed Oran. Accounts filed for the UK operation to the year ending November 2006, show that it posted revenues of £25.6m (€32.8m), compared to £23.5m the previous year. It had also managed to swing back into positive territory with an operating profit of almost £300,000 compared to a loss of more than £1m in 2005. However, that year it also sold fixed assets worth £5.8m, helping it to generate a final profit of over £2m.
The company, which employs about 300 people, is understood to have lost a number of contracts in recent weeks.
The Response Group has specialized in providing water treatment engineering solutions around Ireland and employs more than 120 people.
Abridged accounts for the firm for 2006 show it made an operating profit of €790,000, compared to €481,000 the previous year. Its 2006 revenues were about €15m, according to the company's website. http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/judgment-against-founder-of-hobbsled-venture-1210846.html

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Shheeshhh, you'd think Oran advertised the construction of waterfront townhomes in Ch'Town or a business park on the Malpeque Rd. and didn't follow through!!

Glossy brochures and 'hot air' presentations aren't only the trademark of Oran... it's also a lot closer home.

What's that about the pot calling the kettle black?

Tim Banks said...

No Kettle Black Here.... in case you are not aware APM had officially withdrawn our plans for town homes on Water Street as the environmental report did not make it financially viable to proceed and yes we did sub divide our Malpeque Road property and built the roads and developed a couple of properties and we're confident that other projects will follow. We also delivered 50 plus projects in our community but we've never suggested anything as farfetched as a bunch of 7 storey towers built on the roof of an existing building... sorry to disappoint you..

MN Investments said...

seen oran on Compass last night talking about their plans for the mall. No mention of redevelopment spending.

My bet is that they want to be seen as trying to deflect the potential issues when they drop the bomb.

Glenda said...

I suggest that you check your facts on Eoin Little. He came from a banking background and continues to sit on the boards of banks. He was not hired by Oran Group, but was one of three partners in the company. I wonder if you are confusing him with another Eoin Little who was a bar manager and is now manager of a hotel in Ireland.