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Case Study – Castlebawn Retail Park

The background

Castlebawn is a mixed-use 50-acre development in Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland. Nama (the National Asset Management Agency) or in layman’s terms, the Irish ‘bad bank’ owned Castlebawn after the financial collapse of 2008 and wanted to recoup its value. The developers saw an opportunity to create something special on the site. It needed expertise and speed.

How did Wilson Nesbitt rise to the challenge?

In just four weeks, Wilson Nesbitt, led by Gilbert Nesbitt, bought the asset from Nama. The acquisition needed to be completed quickly and came with several outstanding challenges to be resolved.

Adam Armstrong, the co-developer and Wilson Nesbitt’s client, says:

“It’s the piece of work that we’ve done with Wilson Nesbitt that I’m proudest of. Gilbert covered himself in glory in getting the sale through in just four weeks. He had a load of titles to pull together and there was obviously lots of Government interest too given that Nama owned the asset. He tidied up the whole transaction in double-quick time.

The result

Armstrong continues: “We bought the site four years ago and we’ve recovered all our costs and we still have 45 acres to develop on the site. We’ve brought Lidl to the site and recovered a prior charge from Tesco. We could not have done it without Wilson Nesbitt’s help. We wouldn’t have wanted to do it without their help.”

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