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
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