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No go on Irish Development in US due to Environmental Concerns

An Irish-owned development group has walked away from a proposed deal to build an estimated 20,000 lakefront homes in Chicago.  Emerald Living, which is owned by Dublin-headquartered Welink Group, said it had decided not to go ahead with a proposal to build on the 440-acre US Steel site because of “findings of our [due] diligence works”.

Local media in the US reported that its concerns were environmental in nature, related to the site’s industrial past. Welink and Emerald Living are run by Wicklow-based former DCC Healthcare executive Barry O’Neill. He founded the group, which specialises in building modular homes and also invests in energy projects, in 2007.  It mostly operates abroad, and teamed up with Spanish group Barcelona Housing Systems for the Chicago project.

The proposed scheme was on a lakefront industrial site known as South Works, for which US Steel has been seeking a development partner for more than a decade.  Mr O’Neill’s company announced a year ago it had entered into a development agreement with US Steel and the city of Chicago, whose mayor is former Barack Obama aide Rahm Emanuel.  That proposed agreement, however, was subject to an environmental review and due diligence, for which the completion deadline expired this week.

Article courtesy of Irish Times

Environmental due diligence is a critical component of any property transaction where potential environmental risks are a concern and is required as part of acquisitions, mergers and divestitures with the assessment focused on identifying actual or potential environmental liabilities arising from current and historical property usage and determining the costs of addressing these liabilities. The assessment generally includes a wider regulatory assessment to include planning permission compliance, permits and licences as applicable.

To help clients minimise risks and protect themselves from liability, Verde Environmental Consultants provide a clear understanding of the impacts with predicted costs. Our tailored advice is commercially focused, clearly communicated, delivered on time and backed with appropriate levels of professional indemnity cover. View our range of Environmental Due Diligence services.

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