Wednesday 18 September 2019

Former convent offers opportunity for growth

Unique selling point: with plans for an extension

The property is situated in one of the most sought-after locations in Dublin, close to Baggot Street with its village feel and great restaurants.
The property is situated in one of the most sought-after locations in Dublin, close to Baggot Street with its village feel and great restaurants.
Much of the original decorative plasterwork remains intact.
Images showing how the exterior of the property will look, once refurbished and extended.
An artist's impression of how the finished property will look.
St Mary's artist's impression
Katy McGuinness

Katy McGuinness

Once a grand, period family home, and then a nunnery, this property is set to return to its original glory, and then some.

Fortunes could be about to improve for No. 6 St. Mary's Road, since it was last on the market back in September 2013, when it was offered for sale along with its next-door neighbour, No. 4.

The two houses were priced at €1.3m and €1.2m respectively, but were also available to be purchased together. No. 4, the smaller house of the two, was recently sold by Sherry Fitzgerald for €2m.

The Residential Property Price Register shows that No. 6 sold in December 2013 for €1,762,500, and now it is back on the market, quoting €2.3m.

The house remains in the same unrefurbished condition that it was back in 2013, but now comes with the benefit of planning permission for a large extension that will bring the current 3,305 sq ft of living space up to a massive 4,887 sq ft.

If the asking price is secured, the vendor will have made a tidy profit of €537,500, less the costs associated with securing the permission.

The planning permission is for a design by Brazil Associates, an architects' firm principally associated with high-end residential work and responsible for some of the smartest refurbishments in Dublin.

An artist's impression gives prospective purchasers a good understanding of how the house will look once extended and refurbished, with an extension to one side to mirror the existing construction, and a large single storey open-plan kitchen/living /dining room to the rear.

Simon Ensor of Sherry Fitzgerald estimates that the cost of building the extension and refurbishing the existing house will run to approximately €750,000. Factor these costs in and you are looking at a total cost of €3.05m for the finished house, excluding stamp duty and financing costs, which compares favourably to other recent sales in the area.

Although the house will not be ready to move into for quite some time - the new owners will probably be aiming for Christmas 2016 - the upside is that with planning permission already secured, the buyers could go out to tender and embark on construction immediately, without the risks associated with starting the planning process from scratch.

Back in 2013, Nos 4 and 6 had been recently vacated by the Holy Faith Sisters from nearby Haddington Road, who had used the houses as their convent.

The nuns took a strip of land running behind the houses and built themselves a new convent that looks very much like a smart block of apartments, and must be considerably more pleasant to live in than the rather comfortless old houses with their penitential bathrooms.

Nos 4 and 6 lost their rear access as a result, and had their gardens truncated.

A single storey chapel that connected the two properties was demolished, the boundary that would formerly have separated them reinstated, and the houses stripped of their partitions so that the original proportions were clear to see.

Originally, No 6 would have been a large family house and the new planning permission will bring it back to just that, albeit with all sorts of modern bells and whistles that might amaze the original Victorian occupants.

In the original house, there are three good reception rooms at hall level. These have high ceilings and tall windows and the original decorative plasterwork is mainly intact.

If the new owners proceed with the planning permission, they will have a drawing room with library off, an interconnecting family room and study, a separate playroom, guest lavatory, utility room, and boot room in the existing house, while the new extension will accommodate the generous open plan kitchen/living/dining room.

Upstairs, there will be four bedrooms, three with en-suite bathrooms and two with dressing rooms, plus a family bathroom.

St. Mary's Road is one of the best roads in Dublin 4 in terms of location. The Dylan Hotel is literally on the corner, and Baggot Street has a proper village feel, with plenty of shops, pubs and restaurants, including trendy Eathos and Cocu, catering to the clean-eating population of the area.

Grafton Street and the city centre are a 15 minute walk away. The RDS and Aviva are both within walking distance, as are Herbert Park and several tennis clubs.

The area is well-served by public transport, both bus and DART, and, in terms of schools, convenient options include St. Conleth's, St. Michael's, Muckross and Loreto on the Green.

6 St Mary's Road

Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Asking price: €2.3m

Agent: Sherry Fitzgerald, (01) 269 8888

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