New home view: Hit the heights at this cliffside complex in Cork city
Atlus Sunday's Well, Cork city
Asking price: €290,000-€520,000
Agent: Savills (021) 427 1371
Altus, a Latin word for "high", is the name of a contemporary-style apartment complex on the north channel of the River Lee in Cork city, where it's perched on an excavated cliffside that was once home to a quarry.
Because of its south-facing aspect, the Sunday's Well development was designed to maximise the natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors that frame views of the river below, the Mardyke walk, the city centre and the spires of St Fin Barre's Cathedral.
The scheme of one and two-bedroom apartments, duplexes and triplexes is set back from the foot of Sunday's Well Road, near Cork City Gaol and Wyse's Hill. Access to Altus, which was built behind two period properties, is through a hardwood electric gate that leads to the underground car park.
Inside, the development's three blocks are centred around a podium-level courtyard. Two of the apartment blocks are laid out across six levels, with one of those blocks designed in a stepped-back fashion that creates space for large terraces. The third block is set out across three levels.
The 30-unit development was finished off by Cumnor Construction about a decade ago, just as the property market was imploding. As a result of the unfortunate timing of Altus's completion, the apartments were let out over the last ten years. Now the apartments are being fully refurbished as each lease expires and the units are vacated, and are being put on the sales market for the first time.
Altus was designed by architect Haroldo Oliveira from Cork city-based JCA Architects. Indeed, Oliveira and Cumnor have since worked together on Convent Garden, a Kinsale development being constructed on the grounds of a former Mercy convent on Winter's Hill, where it commands sweeping views over the surrounding seafaring town and its harbour.
At Altus, eight apartments were released in the first phase last month, with the remaining units due to be released at a later date. There are currently four properties for sale, excluding the show unit.
One of the homes available is a one-bed, 664 sq ft apartment with a terrace and a price tag of €290,000. A two-bed on the third floor that measures 1,076 sq ft and comes with a 96 sq ft balcony and is priced from €420,000.
A unit of the same size on the fifth floor costs from €520,000. Also on the fifth floor is a slightly smaller two-bed. This apartment spans 1,044 sq ft - excluding the 107 sq ft terrace - and is priced from €510,000.
Each apartment comes with own-door access, underground parking, a video intercom system, a balcony or terrace, and use of the communal roof gardens and other landscaped outdoor spaces. The latter includes timber planters with shrubbery, and tall trees that have matured since the scheme was finished 10 years ago.
The interiors have been given an uber-minimalist overhaul, with hidden storage compartments and Belgian light fittings. The sleek kitchen in the open-plan kitchen/living/dining room is in a contemporary style, while the living and dining areas have sliding doors to the balcony. The bedrooms are floored and fitted with large built-in wardrobes with sliding doors, while the bathrooms and ensuites have white Flaminia sanitaryware and Italian tiling.
Despite being constructed before the introduction of stricter building energy regulations, each apartment at Altus has a B1 energy rating - respectable for its era. The rating comes courtesy of energy-saving features such as triple-glazed windows and glass doors, as well as a highly efficient heat recovery system.
Altus is just a ten-minute walk across the river from the city centre and a 25-minute walk from Kent train station. University College Cork's main campus is a 20-minute walk, while Cork Airport is a 20-minunte drive.
Viewings at Altus are by appointment.