Historic building in Laois for sale as an apartment project – Photo 1 of 5

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

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

Estate agents claim the development has full planning permission to convert the existing industrial unit off Mountmellick Road into apartments.

They say permission is in place for four two-bedroom duplexes and eight two-bedroom apartments in the historic building. The apartments vary in size from 80m2 to 109m2.

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

A company called Holli’s Corner won permission in May 2020 to convert the historic 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 historical significance in Laois and Portlaoise. The malting began on the site in the 1860s and it continued to be used for this purpose until 1978 when it began to be used as a grain depot.

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

Maryborough Construction Holdings and had large multi-million development projects in the v which collapsed in the Celtic Tiger property crash.

The development is located opposite a separate major development in progress to another part of the former Maltings site. Work is underway on an extensive apartment and housing development by Maltings and Granary Ltd. This company has also received the green light for a 101-bed retirement home.

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

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The old Minch Norton building was severed when the site was sold in 2011 after the property collapsed.

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

The company tried to find a buyer investor to save the project at a cost of 33 million euros, but failed.

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

Jack C. Nugent