Tuesday 12 December 2017

Settle down by the sea in Clontarf for €850k

A new launch in Clontarf is expected to appeal to the trade-down market

Homes in Clontarf
Homes in Clontarf
Churchfield interiors
Liadan Hynes

Liadan Hynes

Clontarf is often described as 'the Ballsbridge of the Northside' - although locals would contend Ballsbridge is the Clontarf of the Southside. And like Ballsbridge, property prices are notoriously high as demand consistently outweighs supply. The combination of abundant amenities, the seaside location, St Anne's Park, a number of good schools, proximity to town, and excellent bus and Dart transport links all make this one of the Northside's most sought-after areas.

In terms of new homes, Clontarf is not typically within the price range of the first-time buyer. The lack of large land banks means new homes here tend to come in small infill sites, which lend themselves to the construction of apartment blocks, one or two large family homes, or small townhouses, rather than your classic three- or four-bed semi-detached starter property. This week, the MKN Property Group - the developers responsible for Seafield apartments on the site of the former Dollymount House pub - launch Churchfield at 59-60 Clontarf Road.Plots located directly on the seafront are rare and this end of Clontarf has undergone something of a regeneration in the last few years. Like the award-winning apartments at Seafield, this scheme is expected to have a strong appeal for buyers already living locally who wish to trade down. Also an infill site, the plot was derelict for years. It is tucked in beside a row of shops and St Anthony's Church, between Hollybrook and St Lawrence's roads, two of the area's most beautiful streets, which are full of large, period red bricks valued at anywhere between €850,000 and €1.2m. They are expected to draw a number of potential local buyers looking for something less high maintenance but in the immediate location of their established network. This was the dominant buyer profile in Seascape, says John McKeon of MKN.

MKN is a family-run business that also employs John's brother and sister. It was established by their father Sean, who, though semi-retired, is on site at 9am two days before the launch, looking far from retired. The family grew up in Clontarf, with most still living locally - Sean and his wife relocated to one of the new MKN-built apartments in Seafield in recent years.

Before MKN bought the site, it had been seized by investment bank Investec from a consortium that included former politician Ivor Callely and three business associates who had borrowed €9.85m to fund the purchase. That consortium had planned a development of apartments with several shops, a plan initially approved by Dublin City Council, but subsequently overturned after objections from locals.

MKN bought the site with planning permission, and have built a boutique development of four apartments, located directly on the road front, with behind them 15 three-storey townhouses. The apartments, approximately 56sqm, from €325,000, are expected to appeal to downsizers and investor buyers who plan to eventually live there. All are one-bed, with an open plan kitchen/dining /living room, utility room, bedroom and bathroom and have a large balcony overlooking the sea. Floor-to-ceiling triple-glazed windows maximise the light and the views. They sit on the first and second floors, over a retail premises, whose occupier is yet to be confirmed, but will be a fashion retailer. The townhouses are three-bed plus a study over three levels, with the ground floor an L-shaped living-room, and kitchen/dining area leading onto the garden (11 are west-facing), with garden shed. These are approximately 125sqm, priced from €625,000, and are A-rated houses, with Kube kitchens and Siemens appliances. The two spaces are separated by a floor-to-ceiling glass door, an impressive bespoke feature installed by MKN, which works very well in shutting off the living room when needed, while still allowing the light from the back of the house through. There is good storage space, with two cupboard areas on the ground floor and an easily accessed walk-in storage space, cleverly located behind the wall of fitted wardrobes in the master bedroom on the top floor, compensating for lack of attic space. All apartments and houses have one on-street parking space.

MKN's next development in the area, which begins work early next year, is on the site of the former St Paul's swimming pool and the adjacent three houses at the top of Vernon Avenue. It will includes a total of 75 units, with 68 apartments and seven houses.

Viewing: Today, 2-4pm

Agent: Sherry FitzGerald (01) 667 1888

Sunday Independent

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