Tuesday 24 April 2018

Refurbished D4 luxury apartments on the market

An Embassy Court interior
An Embassy Court interior
Embassy Court, a fine example of apartment design
Liadan Hynes

Liadan Hynes

If the section of the housing market that is trading down is to have any hope of contributing to a workable solution to the current housing crisis, there needs to be an increase in the supply of apartments that offer an attractive long-term-home option. For starters, that means well-built and cleverly designed apartments that are close to the down-sizer's locality. Add lower maintenance, all-on-one floor living, a sense of community, and increased security and you have a development that might appeal to retirees. If the apartments come with good storage, a balcony with a view, a pleasant communal area and parking, all the better.

Some of the best examples of apartments of this kind are now on sale or being constructed in Dublin 4, mainly around the Ballsbridge area. Savills are noticing a new kind of buyer, one they describe as "the eventual buyer". Such purchasers already live in the area, and whilst they may not be ready to down-size just yet, when they do, they don't want to move far. They buy and rent out the property until they are ready to move in, typically in five to 10 years.

Designed by McCrossan O'Rourke Manning and originally built 11 years ago, Embassy Court on Prince of Wales Terrace in Dublin 4, is a fine example of what apartment design should be aiming to provide. Having previously rented the units on short-term corporate lets, developer Eugene Larkin and his two sons Michael and Rick of Twinlite Construction have thoroughly refurbished them, bringing the first phase of 10 units to the market in late January of this year. All have now sold or gone sale agreed within the region of the asking price, including the three penthouses, which had asking prices of between €1.7 million and €2.5 million.

Twinlite Construction, who are the developers behind Tyrrelstown, also have a new residential project with 18 properties at Enderly in Dalkey that is coming to the market in September. Five minutes from Dalkey village on an elevated site on Cunningham Drive, the project will comprise of extremely high-end two, three and four-bed homes, running to 139-278 sqm.

The second and last phase of Embassy Court, which launches this week, sees seven units coming to the market: a two-bedroom lodge within the grounds, price on application, 120 sqm; and six two-bedroom apartments, with prices from €775,000 to €1,050,000, at between 92-115 sqm. They have a BER of between C3-B2.

It would be hard to find a more pleasant spot. Tucked in amongst the fine Victorian properties of Sandymount Avenue, 90pc of the apartments are dual aspect, with all but one of this low-rise site - ground, first floor and penthouse - enjoying a southwest-facing balcony overlooking the communal Japanese-style gardens. In fact the grounds are one of the selling points of the apartments. Laid out over a decade ago, they are mature and not too heavily manicured.

Located across the road from Sandymount Dart station, the Merrion Road is well serviced by buses. Sandymount village and its shops, cafes, bars and restaurants are a five minute walk, the seafront a further five minutes.

All ground-floor apartments have been given astro-turf spaces which are separated by dividing walls, and every unit features a permanent gas feed for a BBQ. Each apartment comes with two parking spaces and a sizeable storage unit in the basement, 15 sqm in most cases. Some of the units come with sliding doors that close off the kitchen area; something which Savills says is a priority for downsizers.

Other features trade-down purchasers tend to prioritise are a good size floor area, preferably over 93 sqm, and entrance-hall foyers. They want a large, impressive hallway, a sense of arrival, says David Browne, Savills' head of New Homes. "This is a forever home. They want to make sure that the communal areas are the same calibre as those they are going to live in."

Viewing: By appointment

Agent: Savills (01) 618 1300

Sunday Independent

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