Check out the rooftop pool and spectacular city views from these Dublin city penthouses
* The Penthouses, Spencer Dock, Dublin 1
* Asking price: €900,000 to €1.45m
* Agent: Owen Reilly (01) 6777100) Hooke & MacDonald (01) 6318402
In 2006 as the Celtic Tiger roared loudest and the property boom reached its zenith, developers clogged the airways buzzing hither and tither in their personal helicopters, taxi drivers hoovered up apartments in Cape Verde, Anglo Irish executives ran about sketching deals worth hundreds of millions on cigarette packets and property prices in the capital ran at 40pc higher than today.
Developer Johnny Ronan and his partner Richard Barrett were at the top of their game with Treasury Holdings: steering a €50bn city development in China, bidding for Battersea Power Station in London (they got it for STG£400m) and building the flagship Spencer Dock apartment scheme in Dublin's docklands - with it, the eight most ostentatious penthouse apartments Ireland had ever seen.
Except they were never seen. By the time the big eight were completed in 2008 the market had tanked and there were no buyers for this kind of luxury. The scheme was taken over by Nama and the apartments were mothballed for eight years. Aside from one or two short lets - notably to Virginia Macari as she participated in the 2012 series Dublin Housewives all were closed up until the market was deemed to have recovered enough to interest buyers again.
Stepped along the eighth and ninth floors of Spencer Dock's towers, the penthouses are today well seasoned time capsules of the excess of the Tiger. Each is each laid out over two floors with multiple rooftop decks, rooftop swimming pools, hot tubs, and floor space of up to 3,500 sq ft - or more than three times that of an average semi detached family home.
Only the top apartment in Sean Dunne's Tiger era Hollybrook scheme (at 3,500 sq ft) can match these for size. And while hot tubs turn up with rooftop units from time to time, almost no apartments in Dublin have their own private rooftop swimming pools.
According to joint agent Owen Reilly we will never see their like in Dublin again. "Only at the height of the madness could 3,500 sq ft penthouses be built. It's just not economical for developers to do this anymore," says Reilly who believes it makes more sense to install smaller units or to put in restaurants, bars or fitness centres on the top of high buildings.
Now Nama believes the time is right to unveil and sell four of the eight which have been placed on the market this weekend with prices ranging from €900,000 to €1.45m. For the same money you'll get a 1,000 sq ft smaller bog standard four-bed period house in Howth or Blackrock minus the views, minus the pools and hot tubs and minus the top market fit out.
The four duplex penthouses are: 54 Kirkpatrick House, comprising 2,650 sq ft (€900,000), 65 Baltrasna House, (2,700 sq ft for €975,000), 48 Hill of Down House (2,928 sq ft for €1.45m), and the big one, 47 Hill of Down House (3,552 sq ft for €1.35m).
Number 47 has a rooftop hot tub and 54 Kirkpatrick House and 48 Hill of Down House both have a swimming pool with resistance machine allowing you to "swim on the spot". The elevated views permit you to peer up and down the Liffey and the canal and span from the Dublin mountains to the Airport. Located to the immediate east of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and right behind the Convention Centre they have been designed by Scott Tallon Walker. Fitted with marble tile and oak floors, they come with Miele kitchens and three Villeroy and Boch bathrooms, some of which have oval shaped stand alone tubs. The four bedroom units have two car parking spaces each.
Viewings through the joint agents.