Chang­ing of the guard on Shrews­bury Road

As the last of the ty­coon de­vel­op­ers sells up, Dublin’s prici­est strip has seen more than half of its prop­er­ties change hands in the last decade

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Front Page - Ai­dan Mur­phy

The re­cent sale of Paddy Kelly’s Shrews­bury Road home, Clon­more, marks the last of the prop­erty de­vel­op­ers to de­part Ire­land’s top ad­dress. Since the start of the re­ces­sion and the en­su­ing col­lapse of the prop­erty-re­lated for­tunes of many of the road’s for­mer res­i­dents, there has been a re­mark­able turnover of homes on the street.

In all there are 32 prop­er­ties – 31 houses and one site – of which 18, more than half the to­tal stock, have changed hands since 2011. In that pe­riod the prop­erty de­vel­op­ers have made way for avi­a­tion leas­ing moguls, fi­nanciers and do­mes­tic busi­ness own­ers.

While his prop­erty has only just sold for ¤8.1 mil­lion to an as yet undis­closed buyer, Kelly was one of the first de­vel­op­ers to leave the street when he de­camped to an­other mul­ti­mil­lion euro house in nearby Don- ny­brook in 2009. At the time he said in an in­ter­view that the move prob­a­bly suited ev­ery­one, “in­clud­ing those who need to know that Paddy Kelly has suf­fered.”

Kelly had moved to Shrews­bury Road in 1987, when he pur­chased a house named Clan­cool on about 1½ acres for un­der ¤600,000. He later sold it in 1993 due to fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties for around ¤860,000 on just half its grounds, re­tain­ing the other half to build Clon­more.

In 1996, Kelly was joined on the road by high-fly­ing prop­erty in­vestor Derek Quin­lan, who paid about ¤1 mil­lion for a semi-de­tached house that he re­named Der­ry­more af­ter his child­hood home in Boot­er­stown.

De­vel­oper Larry O’Ma­hony fol­lowed suit when he paid around ¤3.2 mil­lion in 1999 for num­ber 7, known as Mug­nano.

Fi­nally, Seán Dunne ar­rived in 2000, pay­ing busi­ness­man Niall O’Far­rell ¤3.8 mil­lion for a 0.2-acre site to build his home, Ouragh. The price was two-thirds more than the ¤2.2 mil­lion busi­ness­man Niall O’Far­rell had paid for it a year be­fore, when he bought a 0.4-acre plot, half of which he re­tained to build his own home, Thorn­dene.

At the height of the Celtic Tiger, Quin­lan, Dunne and O’Far­rell had amassed be­tween them nearly a quar­ter of the road’s homes. By then they and other do­mes­tic Ir­ish bid­ders had pro­pelled the prop­erty val­ues on the street to dizzy­ing heights, mak­ing it the sixth most ex­pen­sive ad­dress in the world by 2007 – over­tak­ing even Bev­erly Hills’ prici­est ad­dress.

All these prop­er­ties have since been sold. Quin­lan’s Der­ry­more and Dunne’s Ouragh sold to avi­a­tion leas­ing ty­coons Gary Burke and Dómh­nal Slat­tery re­spec­tively.

The wife of an­other avi­a­tion ty­coon, AerCap’s Aen­gus Kelly, pur­chased Larry O’Ma­hony’s Mug­nano in 2015.

Quin­lan’s other two houses, a pair of semi-de­tached homes at 1 and 3 Shrews­bury Road – for which he paid a re­ported ¤27 mil­lion to a com­pany linked to Seán Dunne – were sold to an over­seas in­vestor in 2013 for just ¤4.5 mil­lion as buy-to-lets.

O’Far­rell’s 28 Shrews­bury Road, which he ac­quired in 2005 for as much as ¤8 mil­lion, was sold to phar­ma­ceu­tics ex­ec­u­tive Anna Power for just ¤2.4 mil­lion in 2013. Power de­mol­ished the house and built a larger mod­ern re­place­ment.

Thorn­dene, O’Far­rell’s 863sq m (9,300sq ft) pas­tiche man­sion, was sold for just ¤5 mil­lion, sub­stan­tially lower than its ¤14 mil­lion ask­ing price in 2009. The buyer, a Lim­er­ick-based trust named Loger Trustees, has two di­rec­tors, both of whom serve as di­rec­tors of var­i­ous com­pa­nies linked to the En­right fam­ily of Syn­creon fame.

Mean­while, other Shrews­bury Road res­i­dents sold up for rea­sons un­re­lated to the re­ces­sion, such as the Blake fam­ily, who sold Cool­beg, a de­tached prop­erty, to a com­pany linked to lo­cal busi­ness­man Liam Shana­han for ¤4.4 mil­lion. It has sub­se­quently been re­fur­bished and rented out to an avi­a­tion leas­ing ex­ec­u­tive.

For­mer at­tor­ney gen­eral Der­mot Gleeson sold his semi-de­tached home at num­ber 8 Shrews­bury Road in 2012 for ¤5.2 mil­lion to the Dowl­ing fam­ily, whose busi­ness spe­cialises in cater­ing dis­pos­ables.

The Egan fam­ily sold Kil­lowen on 0.7 acres to for­mer Davy high-flyer David Shubotham’s wife for ¤4.5 mil­lion, be­fore it was swiftly de­mol­ished. It is cur­rently be­ing re­placed with a 1,442sq m (15,520 sq ft) de­tached house.

The Neary fam­ily sold Lis­sadell to North­ern Ir­ish cou­ple Francesca McWil­liams and Martin Shields for ¤6 mil­lion, who then tripled the size of the house to 1,096sq m (11,800sq ft).

The Couni­han fam­ily sold Hawthorn, a rel­a­tively mod­est dormer bun­ga­low, to their im­me­di­ate neigh­bour De­nis O’Brien for ¤4.35 mil­lion, but no plans for the prop­erty have been re­vealed.

The As­saf fam­ily sold Fin­tragh to pack­ag­ing mil­lion­aire Pa­trick Do­ran, who is dou­bling its size to 1,037sq m (11,160sq ft), while the Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal So­ci­ety of Ire­land sold Wood­side to CapVest’s Sea­mus Fitzpa­trick and he un­der­took a ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment.

In 2013, UK-based Caro­line Weeks sold Shrews­bury House to en­tre­pre­neur Bryan Mee­han, who then flipped it on to busi­ness­man Owen Kil­lian net­ting a 40 per cent profit just a few months later.

Big­ger and bet­ter

One thing that most new ar­rivals to the street have in com­mon, with few ex­cep­tions, is their am­bi­tion to build Dublin’s grand­est homes. Eleven of the houses, more than a third of the street’s stock, ei­ther have been, or are in the process of be­ing ex­pen­sively ex­tended.

The av­er­age size of houses has bal­looned from 552sq m (5,940sq ft) to a stag­ger­ing 1,050sq m (11,300sq ft) – an in­crease of 90 per cent. The largest house by far is Owen Kil­lian’s Shrews­bury House, which spans some 1,966sq m (21,160sq ft) now that its con­struc­tion is com­plete.

Next in line will be Der­mot Des­mond’s Walford, which has plan­ning per­mis­sion to be de­mol­ished and re­placed with a 1,595sq m (17,170sq ft) man­sion fea­tur­ing in­cred­i­ble gar­dens. The ex­ist­ing prop­erty was ac­quired by Gayle Killilea for ¤58 mil­lion in 2005, and more re­cently bought by Des­mond’s Celtic Trustees for a knock­down ¤14.25 mil­lion.

‘‘ Der­mot Des­mond’s Walford (above), has plan­ning per­mis­sion to be de­mol­ished and re­placed with a 17,170sq ft man­sion

Con­tin­ued on page 2

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