Tommy Barker


Irish Examiner - Property & Interiors - - Property -

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?

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