Lo­ca­tion drives price at Grace Park

New homes are launched in leafy north Dublin that in­clude first-time buyer units from €475,000, writes Li­adan Hynes

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Property - - SUNDAY PROPERTY -

IT’S fair to say that the word “unique” is some­what overused in the world of prop­erty. In re­la­tion to new homes, which are built in bulk, and with reg­u­la­tions that aim to stan­dard­ise qual­ity, “unique” is a dif­fi­cult thing to achieve. There is, out of ne­ces­sity, a cer­tain uni­for­mity in hous­ing de­vel­op­ments. Hence it is usu­ally through its “lo­ca­tion”, that other buzz­word for prop­erty, that a new devel­op­ment can boast any sort of unique­ness.

Grace Park Wood, which launched last Fri­day, can jus­ti­fi­ably lay claim to be­ing unique in the new homes arena on these grounds. Rarely do sites of this cal­i­bre come to the mar­ket.

Pur­chased by Castlethorn Con­struc­tion in 2014 from the Ros­mini­ans or­der for more than €9.5m, this site is just off Grif­fith Av­enue, one of leafy north­side Dublin’s most es­tab­lished res­i­den­tial roads. It sits ad­ja­cent to the pro­tected struc­ture of Drum­con­dra Cas­tle and ChildVi­sion, the coun­try’s only ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre for blind and vis­ually im­paired chil­dren.

The grounds are beau­ti­ful — the en­trance gates are pro­tected, the houses are sur­rounded by his­tor­i­cal build­ings, there is es­tab­lished green­ery in­clud­ing large red­wood and oak trees and there are views of nearby large red-brick prop­er­ties, and old kitchen gar­den walls. There are not many three-bed­room starter homes in which the kitchens (set at the front of the house in this par­tic­u­lar case) look out over grassy park­land and old red-brick walls. And as if all this wasn’t bu­colic enough, the grounds next door in­clude a small farm.

Brought to the mar­ket by Sav­ills on be­half of de­vel­oper Castlethorn, this phase is the first of two. The sec­ond and fi­nal phase is ex­pected to launch later this year. The launch brings 50 homes to the mar­ket and in­cludes three, four and five-bed­room houses. When fin­ished, Grace Park Wood will com­prise of 123 units.

The devel­op­ment takes full ad­van­tage of its lo­ca­tion by fea­tur­ing a 1.09 hectare park. The five-bed­room units are set at the front of the site, over­look­ing this green area.

In to­tal there are eight house styles de­signed by architects O’Ma­hony Pike, which also de­signed the large new com­plex cur­rently un­der way at Mar­i­anella, in Rath­gar.

There are five va­ri­eties of three-bed, two fourbed types, and one eight-bed house. The Hazel is a three-bed mid-ter­race, 109sqm, priced from €475,000; the Ash is a three-bed mid and end-of­ter­race unit, 106sqm, priced from €480,000; the Elm is a three-bed mid-ter­race unit of 107sqm, priced from €490,000; the Birch is a three-bed end-of-ter­race unit, 112sqm priced at €500,000; the Black­thorn is a three-bed mid-ter­race, 115sqm, from €525,000; the Ju­niper is a four-bed mid-ter­race unit of 115sqm, from €575,000; the Hawthorn is a four-bed end-of-ter­race, 139sqm, from €615,000; and the Alder is a five-bed mi­dand end-of-ter­race of 187sqm, at €735,000.

The five-bed units are set over three floors, with bal­conies on the first floor, lead­ing from a dou­ble-fronted large re­cep­tion room. Their sec­ond-floor mas­ter bed­room also in­cludes a par­tic­u­larly high win­dow, avail­ing fur­ther of the view.

Architects at O’Ma­hony Pike have added sev­eral clever touches to the lay­out of these units. The dou­ble-fronted three-bed Ash sep­a­rates kitchen and liv­ing quar­ters on ei­ther side of the stairs and both rooms have been given dou­ble doors to the gar­den. The Black­thorn, a three-bed mid-ter­race unit, has an added room off the kitchen. It is small, but the ideal size for a play­room, teenagers do­ing home­work, or a TV room for adults wish­ing to avoid said teenagers. It’s a nice, cosy an­ti­dote to the some­times cav­ernous feel that open-plan liv­ing can in­volve.

The four-bed units both in­clude a sim­i­lar room, with win­dows and dou­ble doors max­imis­ing the po­ten­tial light and gar­den views. A num­ber of the units have bay win­dows, a rare fea­ture in new homes these days.

Fit­ted kitchens come with elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances as stan­dard and util­ity rooms have been fit­ted with a wash­ing ma­chine and dryer. There is a choice of shades for kitchen units, and quartz work­tops are stan­dard. All bath­rooms and en suites are fit­ted with high-qual­ity san­i­tary­ware.

The area is well ser­viced by pub­lic trans­port links — Clon­tarf Dart sta­tion and Drum­con­dra train sta­tion are nearby. The city cen­tre is ap­prox­i­mately half an hour’s walk way, while the vil­lage of Drum­con­dra is less than five min­utes’ walk. There are sev­eral cafes and pubs and a Tesco in the area, as well as nu­mer­ous good pri­mary and se­condary schools.

Buyer in­ter­est has come from first-time buy­ers, as well as those look­ing to trade up and those wish­ing to down­size, says He­lena Hayes, Castlethorn’s sales and mar­ket­ing man­ager. “It’s a very rare thing that you would find such a large park within the con­fines of your devel­op­ment,” she says. “It kind of goes back to a more tra­di­tional hous­ing scheme, where you had good green ar­eas within the devel­op­ment.”

Clock­wise from top left, there are eight house styles de­signed by architects O’Ma­hony Pike; the spa­cious fit­ted kitchens come with elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances; dou­ble doors max­imise the po­ten­tial light and gar­den views; some homes look out over grassy park­land

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