Mark Keenan, Penthouse 34, The Pavilion, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Asking price: €1.5m, Agent: Sherry FitzGerald, (01-28444274)
ARCHITECTS are "only interested in designing penthouses for fellas with Mercs." So sniped former Zoe Developments boss Liam Carroll back in the days when the boom was being born - but no one knew it yet. It was one of the few public utterances the publicity shy developer would make in his 15-year reign as the capital's most prolific builder.
Dublin was only just getting used to the term "apartment" as espoused by Zoe - in this case blocks of cheap and small city centre "shoebox" homes aimed at young singles. Arguably these were also the birth of Dublin city's subsequent rejuvenation as a place of residence. But the architects were sniffy about the quality and the sizes. Carroll, who wore no tie and drove an old car, was at the time convinced he was taking the right route in providing cheap affordable small homes by the bucketload.
But by 2000, Carroll's company was in the Canal Basin building another tower, a complete departure for his firm in the form of a luxury block where the penthouse could only be aimed at the Merc men and women. The penthouse at Charlotte Quay, a scheme which undeniably helped kick-start the Canal Basin as a development hub, was reported to have sold for €2.5m. If this was true then it achieved the highest price ever paid for a penthouse in Ireland.
Through the height of the boom €1m had become the expected ballpark price of any top-deck penthouse in an exclusive area. By 2011 you could get them for half that.
Whether a penthouse can once again command such a price will be tested by Penthouse 34 at the Pavillion scheme in Dun Laoghaire, which has just gone on the market through Sherry FitzGerald for €1.5m.
To foreigners an Irish penthouse is a perplexing concept - generally speaking it is a home the size of an average house on the top floor. There is no rooftop swimming pool, no concierge waiting on you hand and foot, no home cinema, no Jacuzzi.
So at 1,438 sq ft, this one isn't quite the American or European definition, but is half as big again as the standard Irish top apartment.
The décor is distinctive and strong throughout and there are floors in both marble and hardwood. There's a narrow, long but well-kitted galley kitchen, a living room/dining room with elevated end-to-end utility room, a main bathroom, a master bedroom with its own ensuite and two other bedrooms.
Vitally there's a full-width teak sun deck terrace on each side of this home for some bracing seaside air as well as the views. The scheme has weathered well - another important factor when considering penthouse value - and the views are simply outstanding.