Glebe Hill launch within walking distance of Swords
Over the last couple of weeks, Knight Frank New Homes and Kevin Flanigan Estates have overseen a pre-launch for their registered customers of the latest development from Highgate Properties. Eight of the 11 units at Glebe Hill have sold so far. The development, of 27 units in total, is now on the market.
Highgate Properties are known for small developments of thoughtfully designed family homes in particularly well-situated urban sites. Previous to this, they launched a development of six homes in Churchtown, a kilometre from Dundrum Town Centre, and their next project is of four large, high-end family homes in the heart of Ranelagh, on the main street opposite McSorley's pub.
"Any jobs we do, they're kind of infill sites," says development director David Heaney, describing urban sites that tend to be surrounded by existing buildings. "They range from four to six houses. [Glebe Hill] is one of the largest we've done."
Finding land, the right kind of land, well situated, with good proximity to amenities and not prohibitively priced - is one of the main challenges in developing new homes and one of the reasons so little is currently being built outside of Dublin
Finding just the right site, David says, is difficult, but key to executing the brief they set themselves. "You would be searching for a long time to get a site. Location is a large part of it, it has to be near amenities."
Glebe Hill is situated on elevated land, off the Brackenstown Road. Built on a cul-de-sac layout, all the houses will overlook a green area. A mixture of three- and four-bed semi-detached homes, the properties are within walking distance of Swords Village and the Pavilions Shopping Centre.
Highgate Properties build family homes; apartment building is of no interest to them, says David. They are carving out a niche for themselves as builders of quality family homes in small sites.
"We want to develop that and, I suppose, keep getting better at it," he says, explaining that many of their sub-contractors have been with the company since they were first set up. "If we get a good sub-contractor, we make sure we hold onto them. We've had the painters, they're from Galway, since the outset."
Designed by Niall D Brennan Associates Architects, they units are a particularly attractive, contemporary build. The white render and sand-stone-cladding exteriors feature a zinc canopy with cedar cladding and full-length windows. These homes enjoy a carefully designed example of open-plan living; rather than a straightforward box, the layout of the large back room is L-shaped, with a further space that would serve as a dining or living area, leading off the corner of the kitchen area.
"It's kind of like a snug in that way," remarks David. The downstairs also includes a utility room off the kitchen/dining area and a separate living room. Tiling, fully-fitted kitchens by Kube, and all appliances are included.
"We spend a lot of time on the design with the architects. We always try and do something different," says David, who adds that they bring an interiors designer in on the project at an early stage. "We want to produce a good product, so we just have to do something different, because a good house will always sell, even in bad times. We tell them keep the ceilings high, bring in as much natural light as we can. We really look at it from a family's point of view, see what would suit them. It's just the little things that make the house stand out if someone is picking between this estate and another."
The development will reach completion by the end of the year. Next on the agenda, they begin work on the Ranelagh site in May, before a one-off build in Galway in Salthill in the coming months.
All projects are on a smaller scale. "If the right site comes, definitely," says David of the possibility of a development like Glebe Hill in the future. "But I think the smaller ones suit us."
Glebe Hill, off Brackenstown Road, Swords, Co Dublin
Price: three-bed semi-detached from €360,000, 120sqm; four-bed semi-detached from €420,000, 138sqm.
Agents: Knight Frank New Homes (01) 634 2466; Kevin Flanigan Estates (01) 845 3459
Viewing: By appointment