Kinsale's hot properties
Convent Garden, Kinsale, Co Cork Asking price: €235,000-€265,000 Agent: Savills Cork 021 6017064
Convent Garden, which is being constructed on the grounds of a former Mercy convent on Winter's Hill in Kinsale, commands sweeping views over the surrounding seafaring town and its harbour.
Blarney-based Cumnor Construction, which also built Bracken Wood residential estate in Blarney, is building 96 units on the site, namely three-bed townhouses and contemporary four-bed detached homes in a variety of styles, as well as apartments.
The properties were designed by the architect Haroldo Oliveira, a director at Cork City-based JCA Architects.
The site was originally home to St Joseph's Convent, which was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in the maritime town in 1844, on the cusp of the Great Famine, to educate and feed local schoolchildren. It later fell into dereliction and in the early 2000s, Cumnor was granted permission to convert the austere, grey buildings into apartments and build houses on its grounds.
After several years of inactivity and a scaled-back planning application, work on more of the new units restarted in 2015.
The development was launched last weekend with the release of eight three-bed townhouses, but they sold out almost immediately. Demand for the properties was so high that selling agents Savills released a further seven for sale this weekend. There are 21 units in all in the initial phase in a village-style section known as The Rope Walk, and all will be available for occupation within three to six months.
Kinsale, celebrated for its high-end restaurants, sailing and golf courses, has a property market unique to Co Cork, attracting some of the world's most affluent visitors - and buyers. Prices for the new four-bed detached homes, also marketed by Savills, at Cluain Mara, on the town's Farm Lane, start at €550,000. So it's no surprise that the more affordable homes at Convent Garden are proving popular with purchasers at the lower end of the market.
However, as a result of demand for the new builds at Convent Garden, prices for the latest tranche of seven are slightly higher than the €235,000 to €245,000 range cited for the first eight homes: prices for the latest release go from €235,000 to €265,000.
All of the properties in this release are from the B house type. These are three-storey, three-bed townhouses measuring 1,370 sq ft, with a white render façade and triple-glazed windows.
The entrance and integrated garage are to the front of the ground floor, while the kitchen/dining space occupies the rear of that level. The kitchen features solid silestone worktops and double doors. The living room and its stove is on the first floor, as is a double bedroom with full-length windows and a bathroom. The master bedroom and ensuite is on the second floor, to the front of the house, while the third bedroom is to the rear of this floor.
At a later stage, there will be type C three-bed townhouses available. These properties will have 1,249 sq ft of space, Juliet balconies, exteriors finished with the vertical slate cladding synonymous with Kinsale, and off-street parking.
Type A will be a four-bed, three-storey detached home with 1,614 sq ft of living space and a balcony off the first floor that overlooks the back garden and patio. Types D and E will be four-bed, three-storey detached villas with flat roofs and glass sliding doors. These will extend over 2,250 sq ft and 2,885 sq ft respectively. The apartments, which have been designed to fit within the walls of the old convent buildings, will make up the final phase of the development.
All of the Convent Garden properties will have an 'A' building energy rating, courtesy of features such as the Daikin air-to-water heating and hot water system. This uses a split system heat pump that generates three to five units of heat for every one unit of electricity consumed, making a highly efficient and cost-effective method of heating a home and domestic hot water.
Convent Garden is just a few minutes' walk to the heart of Kinsale. Residents can avail of the nearby Blue Flag Beach at Garretstown. For the golf enthusiast, there is the world famous Old Head Golf Club and Kinsale Golf Club. The town is also on the Wild Atlantic Way, the longest defined coastal touring route in the world. Cork City and Cork International Airport are within a half hour's drive.
The show house at Convent Garden is open for viewing between 2pm and 4pm tomorrow.