I used cordova 3.5.0 CLI and ionic CLI 1.1.9 for testing out what might be causing this issue. I used all the combinations of
cordova platform add android
ionic platform add android
while also removing the android platform from finder or using
ionic platform rm android
cordova platform rm android
I found that the problem only occurred when I manually deleted the android folder from platforms using finder. This happened with any combination of the building commands. This doesn’t happen with a plain cordova project so it has to do with the ionic app environment.
If you remove android with CLI and re-add it build fine using any of the commands for me. Not sure why this didn’t work for @jimmy.
If you need any more information let me know. I’m on OS X Mavericks if that helps