Room to breathe: that’s one of the promises at the finally launched Foxwarren development of 28 upmarket homes which go on sale from next week, after almost three years in the wings. The spacious homes are being delivered on good-sized sites averaging 0.2 acre up to 0.3 acre at Moneygourney/ballyorban, a spot where Cork’s burgeoning Douglas and Rochestown suburbs meet pure, unsullied countryside. Services are going in, footpaths will follow… street-lighting may not be far behind.
Being undertaken by developers Into The Future (ITF), and built by the closely-allied David Walsh of Rockforest Homes, who has done some of Cork’s most extravagant one-off and small niche development homes over the past few years, Foxwarren is a landmark c €20 million-plus development aimed firmly at the upper end of Cork’s trading-up family home market, on the edge of the ’burbs.
With 28 homes only across ten acres of lovely level pasture, it has five/seven house variations, ranging from 2,200 sq ft to c 2,500 sq ft, with a couple of even larger/ dearer ones yet to be confirmed.
The first four go on release now, at prices of €650,000, €700,000 and €730,000, via agents Jennifer Roe and Sam Kingston of Casey and Kingston, who say they have dozens of names and enquiries logged since the scheme was first mooted.
(The zoned land had previously been acquired by another developer, Rossdale, which had planned 13 homes here back in the mid 2000s, a site-size match for much of the existing one-offs here around horse-friendly, traditional fox-hunting rural Ballyorban. The scheme gets its name from the prevalence of foxes... although they live in dens and earths, not warrens?)
Itf/rockforest acquired the site in 2014, and resubmitted for 28 builds, with part-liscannor stone faced designs to a loosely Us-themed landscaped neighbourhood look by architect Paul Mulligan, of Reddy Architects.
Foxwarren’s location is half a mile from the existing up- graded road linking Garryduff/rochestown to Maryborough Hill and thence to the strategic ring road/n28, in a nexus where townlands like Moneygourney and Ballyorban and even Douglas and Rochestown addresses seem to fall over one another. Perhaps it’s that confusion of addresses that prompted the sales tag for Foxwarren “City Living in a Rural Setting.”
Foxwarren is surrounded by farm fields and overlooks a forested hill behind Garryduff. As if to emphasise that city/ rural point, as the diggers got stuck into preliminary ground works and mounding earth and laying hardcore this month, a herd of nonplussed dairy cows just over the ten-acre site’s boundary looks impassively on at all the commotion.
Right now, this Foxwarren hedgerow boundary (the giant blades of Cork harbour’s windmills can be glimpsed from the site’s higher points) is where development stops for the next while, and there’s market talk right now of another city-based developer actively pursuing another zoned tenacre holding close-by for a higher density development, but no deals are as-yet inked. For lots of reasons, Foxwarren is going to be closely watched: it very much is a market bellwether for Cork’s aspiring traders-up, and comes in advance of the launch of suburban homes at Cleve Hill, on the Blackrock Road, which may be be pricier still, and while site works are advancing there, there’s no date for launch.
House features here span energy-efficient, air-to-water geothermal builds, underfloor heating plus stoves, doubleglazed windows, open-plan living, and four and five-bed house options. Designs have moved on from the recognisable, uniformly well-finished Rockforest development in the city’s suburbs, so apart from even-larger builds it’s the site size that is most dramatically different for the ITF/ROCKforest partnership up at Moneygourney.
Thomas Collier of ITF says the launch prices at Foxwarren’s first four homes released are very keen, so perhaps they see scope for price growth in further releases and the very largest homes aren’t available yet.
For those with long memories, Foxwarren 2017 is what Brideview Developments’ Landsborough/garryduff scheme just a mile away was 25 years ago, only with evenlarger builds, and spanning A3-rated, low-energy builds, ranged around a large central green (a Cgi/video flythrough on Casey & Kingston’s website gives a clear idea of how this will turn out).
Also to be watched is who buys, and where they come from.
Estate agents Sam Kingston and Jennifer Roe say the vast bulk of enquires and expected sales are from people already living within a one- to two-mile radius, in outer Douglas, around Rochestown, in spots like Mount Oval and Foxwood, and who’ll be selling elsewhere to buy here.
The entry point here at all-detacheds Foxwarren means lots of trades, resales (in the €300k-€450k range, with mortgage top-ups?), and broad-spanning market activity. VERDICT: Moneygourney makes the world go around?