When developer Sean Dunne concieved of a plan to bring a piece of Knightsbridge to Ballsbridge by building hundreds of luxurious apartments on the site of Jurys and the Berkeley Court Hotel, the strength of opposition from within Dublin 4 was palpable.
Those objections aside, Dunne's ambition for a scheme where the starting prices would hover in the region of €1m would shortly prove to be out of step with an economy then teetering, along with the rest of the world, on the brink.
Roll forward to today however, and what had appeared to be hopelessly optimistic in the twilight of the boom and in the recession that followed, is being realised by Joe O'Reilly's Chartered Land at Lansdowne Place.
The latest figures for the Ballsbridge scheme show that 67 of the 93 apartments released prior to the recent launch of the Nicholson building have been sold. Arguably more interesting though is the fact that all but one of the apartments sold to date have been acquired by Irish citizens.
"All of our buyers to date, bar one, are Irish citizens, either resident here in Ireland, or Irish diaspora. Lansdowne Place is built to the highest of international standards and we have recently launched outside the domestic market as the offering appeals to the Irish abroad looking for a Dublin base," a spokesperson for Chartered Land said.
Commenting further on the profile of the buyers at the development, the spokesperson added: "We are seeing three main categories of buyer in Lansdowne Place. Local residents in the surrounding location looking to trade down within the area, regionally-based career professionals outside of Dublin or based overseas looking for a Dublin base, and younger professionals in the tech industry trading up who want to be close to the city centre."
Outside of the enthusiastic response from Irish buyers, British-born property magnate and co-founder of Green Reit, Stephen Vernon, bears the distinction of being the first to have bought into Lansdowne Place, paying in the region of €5m in spring 2017 for a four-bedroom penthouse with study. Inside, Vernon's apartment extends to 314 sq m (3,672 sq ft) - or three times the area of the average three bed semi-D. The living space is complemented by 262 sq m (2,820 sq ft) of terraces, bringing the Green Reit chief's accommodation to a total of 603 sq m (6,492 sq ft).
While Vernon's purchase set a record in terms of price for the Irish apartment market, it was to be a short-lived one. An unnamed Irish businessman, who is believed to be based overseas, raised the bar late last year when he agreed to pay €6.5m to secure a 529 sq m (5,694 sq ft) roof garden penthouse in the next block, off the plans.
The purchase represented the fifth-biggest residential transaction in Dublin in 2017.
That record looks set to be shattered once more however following the release for sale two weeks ago of Lansdowne Place's fifth phase. Included in this latest tranche is Ireland's largest-ever penthouse.
Situated in the new Nicholson block, at a total size of 715 sq m (7,696 sq ft) and priced at €7.5m, the eighth-floor penthouse includes four bedrooms and a study.
Internal spaces are 393 sq m (4,230 sq ft), while terraces add a further 183 sq m (1,969 sq ft), and a large private rooftop terrace brings an additional 138 sq m (1,485 sq ft).
Upon completion, Lansdowne Place will comprise 215 apartment units.
As well as four penthouses, the launch of the Nicholson has brought 18 apartments to the market, comprising one-bed, two-bed and two-bed plus study units, ranging in price from €800,000 to €2.3m, and in size from 72 sq m (775 sq ft) to 192 sq m (2,066 sq ft).