On top of the world in Dundrum
A record sale of penthouses precedes an offering at Rockfield
Perhaps one of the most remarkable sales of last year was the largely unnoticed disposal of no less than 18 penthouse apartments - along with seven other apartment units - at the Riverdale/Rockfield scheme in Dundrum, Dublin 14, right beside the Luas station and opposite the well-known shopping centre.
Finnegan Menton, which acted for Gannon Homes when these Tiger-era homes were originally erected back in 2004, last year sold the 25 units in one lot to a big investor. Perhaps this deal accounts for the most top-floor penthouses ever sold in Ireland in one swoop. The agents are remaining tight-lipped about the price and the buyer, but had been seeking offers over €7.9m for the lot.
In the currently heated and vulture-fund scoured residential market, they are likely to have been sold for more but how much more we won't know until all the units appear on the property price register.
In the latter boom years it became common for many developers to hold on to large tranches of their own newly completed apartments, in particular the bigger penthouse homes.
The penthouses at these unusually designed blocks by Conroy Crowe Kelly are notable for their very high ceilings and the barrel-vaulted roofs inside which provide jutting arched window covers which lend the rooflines of these blocks a characteristic difference.
The landscaping of the scheme is also noteworthy, taking in the course of the Slang River to make an ornamental pond. This then pushes on towards Dundrum where it feeds into the garden of the Crosbie House (now a Roly's restaurant) and through another ornamental pool which has been since been altered to make the fountain display in front of the Dundrum Shopping Centre, the mothership for label clothes shoppers.
But 10 penthouses in the scheme weren't part of last year's deal indicating that many others were sold privately at the time of the original launch. Among these was one sold recently by Lisney, which had been asking €650,000. Now another has come to market, once again through Finnegan Menton and this time seeking an opening bid of €599,000.
The fifth-floor three-bedroom corner penthouse apartment at 44 The Willow in Rockfield extends to 1,140 sq ft, ever so slightly larger than an average three-bedroom family semi.
This luxury apartment was built by Pierce Construction and has a triple-aspect views and high ceiling with barrel-vaulted windows and balcony doors.
Another unusual feature of the penthouse designs was the multiple aspect and this one is better equipped than most thanks to its corner position and 270° aspect. As a result, it has balconies facing east, west and south, omitting only the side that faces chilly north.
This one has been rented out until recently and according to the agent, it had been making €2,500 per month.
Accommodation includes an entrance hall with timber floors which also includes the hot press and an intercom to the main front door. The living room also has a timber floor and two large doors above barrel-vaulted jutting porches which lead out on to a balcony.
In the kitchen there are cherry units with an island workspace. The counters are marble- topped and the floor is tiled. All the appliances in situ are included in the sale including a Power Point fridge freezer, a Neff washing machine, a Siemens cooker and gas hob and a Siemens built-in dishwasher.
There's an open-plan dining room off the main living room space with room for a large table and six chairs. This comes with a fireplace and once again there are full-length floor-to-ceiling windows and a barrel-vaulted ceiling.
The bathroom has a white suite, a bath tub and electric shower. The master bedroom is double-sized with the same barrel-vaulted ceiling, fitted wardrobes and an ensuite, also in white units with floor and ceiling tiles.
Bedroom two is also double-sized with the same fit out, as is the third bedroom.
The original owners provided extra bedroom space by pruning it off the originally larger open-plan living space and this could be reverted by a new owner. Also this is one of just two penthouses on this floor core, which ensures a high degree of privacy in the common area.
The scheme is gated and managed so this will entail a management charge which is currently standing at €1,878 per annum.
For this you get your own private car parking space and the opportunity to rent a second space on a paid-for disc system. There's also an on-site caretaker to keep an eye on things when residents aren't around.
As well as the views all around, from the Dublin Mountains across the south city, location is also a big factor here.
Aside from the shopping centre, the Luas station at its doorstep (Balally) runs to Sandyford Office Park in one direction - home to many big employers including Microsoft - and to the city centre in the other. There's also a VHI Swiftcare Clinic, a Tesco, Lidl in Dundrum Village and behind it are the fields of the Airfield Estate.
Airfield was left in trust to Ireland by the Overand sisters, action-woman feminists of their day who flew planes and raced around in cars back when all this was frowned upon. They also ran a successful farm. Today it is an educational farm complex which features the big house, a small museum and the highly acclaimed Overends restaurant. It has become a hub for family weekend walks and privately- booked dining events.
Among the pubs nearby are Dundrum House, once a hotel back in Victorian times when Dundrum was a rail-linked health resort, and the Eagle House, a more traditional bar. The Willows in Rockfield is located on the doorstep.
For those would-be buyers with children there are an unusual number of schools in the vicinity. Within walking distance is Wesley College (with its famous hockey amenities) and also St Benildus College run by the De La Salle Brothers. Down the road in Milltown is Alexandria College. Ballinteer Community School and St Tiernan's are a 10-minute walk and primary schools within strolling distance include St Olaf's and Queen of Angels.
44 The Willows
Asking price: €599,999
Agent: Finnegan Menton (01) 614 7900