Saturday 22 July 2017

First Look: Property developer Johnny Ronan's Burlington Road Venetian palazzo is available to let

Embassies and uber-wealthy said to be interested in the developer's D4 townhouse

The entrance hall of Johnny Ronan’s Venetian-style palazzo on Burlington Road
The entrance hall of Johnny Ronan’s Venetian-style palazzo on Burlington Road
The exterior
The dining room
Ronald Quinlan

Ronald Quinlan

Several foreign embassies and at least one high-net-worth individual are understood to be among those who have already expressed an interest in taking up residence at developer Johnny Ronan's Venetian-style palazzo on Burlington Road at the heart of Dublin 4.

While the majestic six-bedroom townhouse was best known during the Celtic Tiger years as the 'Pink Palace' and as the setting for Ronan's legendary parties, it is now being made available for rent, having just received planning permission for full embassy use.

The exterior
The exterior

Agents Knight Frank are quoting a rent of €45 per square foot for the property, which has now been formally renamed as Embassy House. Located at 30 - 32 Burlington Road, the house will be let on a standard long lease of 25 years, with five-year rent reviews.

Finished in the style of a Venetian palazzo, this unique residence was specially designed for Ronan by the late architect Jeremy Williams, who also conceived Ronan's imposing 194-bed Ritz-Carlton Hotel on the Powerscourt Estate in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

The property, which until recently served as the official residence of the United Arab Emirates ambassador, is located opposite to both the Burlington Road entrance to the four-star Doubletree by Hilton hotel and the Vertium office building, which is being developed by Ronan's company, Ronan Group Real Estate.

Arranged over four floors, Embassy House extends to approximately 7,000 square feet of what the agents describe as "spacious, light-filled accommodation" finished to an "exceptionally high standard", offering the "total luxury and rarity" demanded by "exacting clientele".

The dining room
The dining room

Apart from its use as an ambassador's residence, the property was home, albeit briefly, in 2005 to Hollywood movie star Andie MacDowell when she stayed in Dublin filming the adaptation of the Maeve Binchy novel, Tara Road.

While Embassy House comes equipped with all the standard modern conveniences one might expect, it also has a rooftop Jacuzzi, offering residents the opportunity to take in panoramic views while soaking in the tub.

The mansion includes certain features that offer clues as to the identity of its owner. The most telling of these is a painting by British artist Peregrine Heathcote, titled 'Returning', which adorns the wall of the house's reception room. Evocative of the 1930s, the painting shows a Gatsby-esque lady alighting from a classic sports car to board a vintage propeller plane in front of London's Art Deco behemoth, Battersea Power Station. It reminds those familiar with Ronan's career of the vision he and his former partner in Treasury Holdings, Richard Barrett, had for the redevelopment of the iconic site prior to the financial crash. That vision was stopped in its tracks when Nama called in Treasury Holdings' loans on Battersea in 2011, before selling the debt on a year later to the London site's current owners, the Malaysian triumvirate of SP Setia, Sime Darby and the Employees Provident Fund.

Outside, Embassy House is surrounded by extensive landscaped grounds with a statement water feature. It also boasts a walled garden, the ground for which the Sunday Independent understands required the acquisition of upwards of several individual sections from the rear gardens of neighbouring properties.

A separate three-bedroom mews on to Waterloo Lane is likely to increase the appeal of the property to those with an interest in engaging the services of full-time household staff while maintaining their personal privacy.

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