PREMISES IN Letterkenny are amongst empty properties for which the IDA is spending more than €3.57 million a year on rent, the organisation has admitted.
In fact half of all properties leased by the taxpyaer-funded state organisation are vacant.
The most expensive lease the agency holds for a vacant unit is the €424,000 a year it pays for a premises in Athlone, Co Westmeath, to local developers Michael O’Sullivan and Aidan Kelly. This is part-occupied. The agency is also paying €390,000 a year to Hibernia Life for an empty unit in Tallaght, and €375,000 to Irish Life for the use of premises on Foley Street, Dublin, which is occupied.
Twelve units in the Airways Industrial Estate in Santry, Dublin are leased by the agency, which pays annual rents ranging from €340,000 down to €87,000. Three apiece are owned by the Galway-based companies DH Burke Group and DM Properties. Eight of the Airways units are empty.
Multiple units are also lying vacant in industrial parks in Newbridge, Letterkenny, Waterford and Cork. Property developer Ken Rohan is paid €232,500 a year for a vacant premises at Poppintree, Finglas, through his company Minas Ltd.
The leases were all entered into in the first half of the 1980s and run for 35 years, according to the details supplied under freedom of information to www.thestory.ie.
An IDA spokesman confirmed yesterday that about half the buildings it was leasing were vacant but pointed out that most have only a few years to run.
He was unable to say if the leases were subject to upward-only review. “This is a legacy issue, and one which will expire with the leases in the coming years,” he said. In total, the agency pays €7.4 million a year in rent to private landlords.