Sunday 22 July 2018

Dublin three-bed homes launched for €375,000

The Dublin Loft Company launches its third project this week, writes Liadan Hynes

Northwood Green in Santry sees the first launch from the Dublin Loft Company of A-rated three- and four-bed houses
Northwood Green in Santry sees the first launch from the Dublin Loft Company of A-rated three- and four-bed houses

The Dublin Loft Company's first two projects almost completely sold out on their launch weekends. Both were blocks of apartments, the first was Oxmantown Lofts in Smithfield, the latter, Hanover Lofts in Grand Canal Dock.

This week it launched its third project, Northwood Green on Santry Avenue in Dublin 9, the first site to involve houses. While the second phase will include some apartments, this phase brings 15 A-rated three- and four-bed houses to the market, all priced to qualify for the first-time buyers (FTBs) scheme.

The Dublin Bay Loft Company belongs to the third generation of a property dynasty - Mark (31), Andrew (28) and their sister Kelly (25), who recently joined the company, are the latest of the Cosgrave family to enter the development world.

Their involvement in housing started when the siblings were pre-teens visiting building sites, and their experience may be behind the brothers' ability to get ahead of the curve in their first two developments.

Northwood Green
Northwood Green

Both aimed to provide apartments designed for long-term living, rather than as a temporary stop-gap - the kind of housing we need to get on board with if the housing crisis is to be resolved.

The company was set up in 2013. "We really felt we were at the bottom of the property crash," Mark remembers. Construction had ground to a halt, and the brothers identified the pent-up demand that is such an issue today.

"We felt there was going to be this huge demand, especially from people in their 20s to 30s," he adds.

"When we launched in Grand Canal, I don't think there had been any new apartments built there since the iPhone was launched.

"It's a similar enough age group to ourselves, and we felt, being of that age, we would know what they would like and be able to provide that." They have shown a certain prescience when it comes to choosing sites. "I suppose it's about spotting unloved sites," says Mark. "Unloved gems, where the only thing that is wrong with them is what's currently built on it."

Nearby employment opportunities, transport links and the possibility of the Metro North were all factors for the siblings in their choice of this newest site, as well as the fact that little has been built in the area over the past few years.

A luxury kitchen at Northwood Green
A luxury kitchen at Northwood Green

While the contemporary interior design that is a hallmark of their projects remains, "We're selling to a different market," Mark reflects. "An apartment in Grand Canal is a different buyer from a house in Santry. We're dealing with larger families."

Situated beside Santry Demesne, which totals over 90 acres of green space, the site is located 5km from the city centre, and 10 minutes from Dublin Airport, close to the M50 and M1, and near the proposed new Santry Metro North stop. The area is well served by a number of primary and secondary schools.

Three-bed houses, 125.9sqm, are priced from €375,000; four-bed houses run to 134.4sqm and are priced from €415,000; four-bed houses plus study, ranging from 167.9 sqm are priced from €460,000.

Bespoke kitchens are by Cawleys Furniture, and come with hob, oven, fridge freezer, microwave dishwasher and SUB ports. Shower enclosures and heated towel rails are included with high quality tiling to wet areas and floors. All units come with two parking spaces.

As to what he and his brother have learnt from growing up in an Irish development dynasty, Mark says it is the small details that matter in the overall end product.

"We're a big fan of brick. It sounds a bit basic but you really can't beat a nice solid brick on the outside," he says, "and we are very into the finish; a good green space, a site that is lush, not too hard, with lots of nature."

Northwood Green
Northwood Green

It makes sense he would say this - Cosgrave developments tend to stand out for the importance given to landscaping. Bracken Park in Castleknock is amongst the best designed new homes developments in the country, with a well-considered layering of the various elements - apartments, trees and shrubbery of various heights, family homes, playground and energy efficient design.

It is an integrative approach that serves to soften the sometimes bald, characterless look that can afflict new homes developments. As it happens, Andrew worked on Bracken Park, and that was a big influence, Marks says, on the look of Northwood Green.

As to what comes next, the new Luas connection has given rise to fresh potential in terms of residential projects, according to Mark, with areas that are now interconnected. He gives as an example friends who live in Cabra and commute to Ranelagh.

At the moment, the siblings are working on a hotel in Smithfield. The idea behind it is "a super comfy bed, a really good shower. When you go to cities like Dublin, you don't go to spend all day in the hotel. You drop your bags, and you're gone for the whole day."

AGENT: Hooke and MacDonald (01) 661 0100

Sunday Independent

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