Fall in love by the gas­works wall from ¤730k

Nine town­houses have been clev­erly fit­ted along a chal­leng­ing nar­row strip on the for­mer site of a rope fac­tory in Ringsend.

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Front Page - Ber­nice Har­ri­son

As­mall de­vel­op­ment of nine town­houses on South Lotts Road in Ringsend of­fers buy­ers in the Dublin 4 area an in­ter­est­ing al­ter­na­tive to the apart­ment schemes cur­rently on of­fer.

On a long nar­row site, set be­tween the tow­er­ing Vic­to­rian gas­om­e­ter and the two-storey ar­ti­san red-brick dwellings on Gor­don Street, there is now a ter­race of three four-bed and six three-bed houses. They go on sale this Satur­day with prices start­ing at ¤730,000 for the three beds ris­ing to ¤850,000 for the four beds.

The de­sign shows just what can be done on a chal­leng­ing site and this one got its un­usual di­men­sions and the name from its use 100 years ago as a rope fac­tory. Long be­fore this area be­came digi cen­tral with gleam­ing glass of­fice tow­ers hous­ing global tech firms with thou­sands of young work­ers from all over the world, it was home to dock­ers and fac­to­ries for ship­build­ing-re­lated trades. As such, the de­vel­op­ers, G2 Con­struc­tion, hit on the name The Rop­ery for its mews style de­vel­op­ment.

The nine houses are in a ter­race fringed by a path and they range in size from 96sq m (1,033 sq ft) to 130sq m (1,400 sq ft).

All have a slightly dif­fer­ent in­te­rior lay­out but the four bed­room ver­sions are three storey - with the large fourth bed­room and en suite lo­cated on the top floor. In all styles, there are three bed­rooms on the ground floor - two good-sized dou­bles, one with en suite, with built-in wardrobes, and a large sin­gle - as well as the smartly ap­pointed bath­room.

Two of the bed­rooms open out to a ground floor ter­race at the rear - the first of two ter­races in each house - each one clev­erly screened from its neigh­bour for pri­vacy.

The liv­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion is on the first floor for rea­sons that are all to do with the un­usual site . It was, says the ar­chi­tect Larry Pierce of Pierce and As­so­ci­ates to make best use of the light – and for the “wow fac­tor” of the view of the gas­om­e­ter. Bed­rooms don’t need so much sun­light, while the liv­ing and kitchen ar­eas – where peo­ple spend most time – do. So on the first floor is a long liv­ing room with floor-to-ceil­ing glaz­ing and ac­cess out via a slid­ing glazed panel to the sec­ond ter­race.

‘‘ The de­sign shows just what can be done on a chal­leng­ing site

It’s up here where you get the best sense of the ur­ban lo­ca­tion; that while the square footage and num­ber of bed­rooms in the houses in The Rop­ery are more usu­ally found in sub­ur­ban new builds, there’s no doubt­ing these are city homes. The view from the sofa in the very smartly de­signed show- house is of the gas­om­e­ter, and be­yond that the area’s ever-chang­ing sky­line with its tall glass-walled of­fice blocks.

The kitchen, lo­cated to the front, is sep­a­rate from the liv­ing area, a rare enough find in a con­tem­po­rary town­house. This will in­crease the de­sir­abil­ity of The Rop­ery for down­siz­ers as well as young fam­i­lies. It is fit­ted with sleek Athena in­te­grated units in glossy grey, with han­dle-less doors to carry through the con­tem­po­rary look and there are Siemens ap­pli­ances and Sile­stone quartz work­tops. There is space in the kitchen for a small bistro type ta­ble while day­light comes from a large roof light and a nar­row win­dow. To pro­tect the pri­vacy of the home­own­ers on Gor­don Street whose homes back on to The Rop­ery, there are no large win­dows in the front façade.

As well as the fit­ted wardrobes, stor­age op­tions in­clude a large walk-in cup­board off the land­ing and space un­der the stairs.

Pierce kept the ma­te­ri­als sim­ple – brick, ren­der and cedar cladding – and says the creamy white brick - im­ported from Italy - was cho­sen for its light re­flect­ing prop­er­ties.

The A3 rat­ing in­di­cates a build with ex­cel­lent ther­mal and sound in­su­la­tion. The houses also have so­lar pan­els, an Aereco de­mand-con­trolled ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem and other en­ergy ef­fi­cient fea­tures to keep bills down and in­crease home com­fort.

In­no­va­tion in space

The largest three bed – num­ber 9 – will be of most in­ter­est to some­one who works from home as it has an ad­di­tional small room that could be used as a study. At the end of the path that runs along the ter­race, it is the most pri­vate in the de­vel­op­ment and with 110sq m (1,1840 sq ft) it is priced at €760,000.

“This was a com­pletely un­usual project, squeezed in the mid­dle of the city cen­tre,” says Pierce. “You had to in­no­vate in terms of space.”

Each house hav­ing two ter­races was, he says, “an ur­ban re­sponse” – while there was no room for gar­dens, peo­ple value their own pri­vate out­door space.

Pierce notes that the coun- cil’s plan­ners were sym­pa­thetic to the scheme – some­thing that should en­cour­age other de­vel­op­ers spot­ting un­usual sites that at first seem too chal­leng­ing but whose lo­ca­tion out­weighs most dif­fi­cul­ties.

Each house in The Rop­ery comes with a park­ing space and there are bi­cy­cle stands, although given its prime lo­ca­tion – within walk­ing dis­tance of the city cen­tre and the res­tau­rants and shops that have sprung up nearby, par­tic­u­larly along Bath Av­enue and in Grand Canal Dock, a car would be an op­tional ex­tra for many peo­ple.

The very smart Lotts & Co deli and wine shop is the near­est shop to the de­vel­op­ment, a sign how this part of Ringsend has changed be­yond imag­in­ing in the past 20 years.

There will be a small man­age­ment fee - as yet un­de­cided - but it should be rel­a­tively small given the style of the build and the low main­te­nance na­ture of the site with its min­i­mal land­scap­ing.

Agent Owen Reilly is han­dling the sale of the nine town­houses in The Rop­ery, with the show­houses open on Satur­day for first view­ing.

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