Three-house development in Irishtown fills in the gaps
Infill sites offer buyers the chance to purchase new homes in mature residential areas near the city centre
During the boom, infill sites were popular as any viable land was mined for its potential. Now, as the new homes market gets going again, infill sites provide a good entry-level way in for developers returning to the market, or for those new to building who want to move up from one-off projects or home renovations. They are also a less expensive option than a larger project - although they still require the same construction plant, much of the infrastructure and services will already be in place.
For the buyer, they offer the chance to buy a new home in an established area that has little in the way of the sort of large plots typically required for new homes developments, whether that be in the more affluent suburbs near enough to the city centre such as Clontarf or Blackrock, or in suburbs closer to the city centre.
Instead of the older period properties in these areas - which are typically more expensive to maintain - a new build provides an opportunity to attain a modern, energy-efficient home. They can also provide a chance to buy into an already built-up area that may be highly desirable because it is close to amenities, transport links and the city centre.
Small sites occurring in well developed areas are typically the gardens of bigger houses, corner sites (houses with generous side gardens on corner plots), former sports grounds or spaces previously taken up by supermarkets or offices. Infill developments are often of a contrasting design to the houses surrounding them. In the suburbs they will regularly be townhouses, or even apartments, multiple units making the most of a small plot. In those areas closer to town, where there is no shortage of smaller units, they will on occasion be larger than the typical offering - a chance to buy a family home that is almost in the city centre.
Although not always the case, these sites are often architecturally interesting, designed along contemporary lines, such as the ODOS-designed apartments at Percy Place launched earlier this year, rather than the more generic family home style of the typical new home.
This week DNG brings Brickfield Walk, a terrace of three homes in Irishtown built by SEMA Construction, to the market. They are designed by John O'Neill and Associates, a company that boasts the Irish Construction Industry Award for best Residential Design in 2015, and the Irish Building and Design Award for Best House Building Project of 2015 for Seascape in Clontarf, apartments set on another infill site. The Brickfield Walk houses are laid out over three floors, c112sqm in total. Each house has a car port, and a south-facing rear garden.
As selling agent Gemma Lanigan points out, the units are unusual for the area as most of the stock in Irishtown and Ringsend tends to be small two-bed properties, roughly half the size of these houses.
"I think people are being very resourceful in terms of the spaces available," says Lanigan. When it comes to infill sites, she points out, an architect needs to be particularly clever in design terms, making good use of the available land to ensure that the living and storage spaces are maximised. They also have to consider a common problem with infill sites -how to ensure one isn't overlooking, or overlooked by, the neighbours. The local authorities, she says, favour modern design, which brings diversity to an area when it comes to infill projects. Brickfield Walk is built on what was originally a yard used for storing tools.
In terms of size, energy efficiency and contemporary design, this launch represents a rare opportunity in this locality. Irishtown has a strong sense of community, it's within walking distance of the city centre, and is close to the sea and to the thriving Docklands. Buyers are expected to come from those who grew up in the area and wish to return and from those who now work nearby, perhaps in the Silicon Docks, and wish to live close to Dublin city centre.
The mid-terrace unit is €515,000, the two end of terrace houses are €525,000.Each house has a custom-designed fitted kitchen by Kube Kitchens, with integrated appliances, and a utility area. Rainwater harvesting is a feature, providing free water for toilets and washing machines, helping to reduce utility bills. These homes have a BER energy rating of A3. The bathrooms include a pressurised water system, and a separate bath and shower in the main bathroom, as well as tiling fitted to floors and wet areas as standard.
As well as the car port, the ground floor includes a bedroom, which would also work as a home office, storage spaces and the downstairs WC.
Double doors from the ground floor bedroom lead to the back garden, and there is a separate door leading from the hall to the back garden, which has a paving and gravel finish. The car port in each house includes a bike and bin storage area.
The first floor contains a generous-sized kitchen/dining/living area with large windows to the front and rear of the house. The top floor includes two double bedrooms, including one master bedroom with en suite, a hot press and the main bathroom.
Address: Brickfield Walk, Irishtown, Dublin 4
Agent: DNG (01) 491 2600
Viewing: By appointment