Why Beacon of the boom is now under a shroud
Ronald Quinlan peeks behind the drapes on a still unfinished development
AT first glance, it's a scene of effortless style and sophistication; impeccably dressed apartment dwellers lounging on their balconies chatting on their mobile phones to each other in the south Dublin suburb of Sandyford.
Closer inspection, however, reveals it all to be something of an illusion.
The apartment block is unfinished, while the balconies and the people are merely pictures on the massive tarpaulin draped over it in the manner of a sheet covering a corpse.
As the property market continues in its downward spiral, anyone could be forgiven for thinking the Beacon South Quarter is dead.
Not so, according to those behind the €500m development.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent, a spokesman for Landmark Developments said the massive drapes were applied to the unfinished building's facade merely to make it more aesthetically pleasing for the 1,600 residents already living in the Beacon's completed blocks.
"The curtain wall glazing for the facade isn't due for delivery until January of next year, so rather than use the usual green protective netting, to appease residents and traders we decided to use a more attractive cover," the spokesman said.
Asked if the completion of the covered building had been put on hold, or 'mothballed' as one writer in the Irish Times property supplement put it three weeks ago, the spokesman denied that this was the case.
The company's spokesman stressed that, overall, the Beacon South Quarter was proving to be a success, despite the ongoing downturn in the property market.
Of the 850 units completed to date, he claimed 750 had been sold so far, with five of those sales coming in the last week.
Meanwhile, Landmark's director of development, John Kennedy, stressed the 62 apartments in the building currently under wraps would not be put on the market for another 18 months, while other commercial elements of the mixed-use project are worked on.