• Irish Examiner
  • Published 09.01.2019

    With property in Ballsbridge scarce and expensive, apartments have come on the market with prices to match, reports Diamaid Condon

    While reading this piece you may have to refer back to this opening paragraph and article date to re-affirm that it was not written 12 years ago.

    But I can assure you that no amount of heel-clicking on brick roads of any colour will bring you back there — at least not yet. Onwards and upwards appears to be the trajectory.

    As desirable residential locations in our capital go, Ballsbridge trumps the lot. Property there is scarce and expensive and with this in mind, the launch of a further tranche of apartments in Lansdowne Place is of note.

    This most recent release is a block termed The Nicholson, in honour of Trinity College’s first botanist Henry Nicholson (1660-1723). The relevance is that Lansdowne Place occupies what was originally Trinity College’s Botanic Gardens.

    During the run up to our economic volte-face, this 6.8-acre site, which at the time housed both the Berkeley Court and Jury’s hotels, was famously purchased by Carlow developer Sean Dunne. The price was a rather steamy €380m or around €56m per acre. Dunne’s well publicised plans to build a high-rise development, with high-profile opposition from some D4 residents, ran into myriad problems.

    Subsequently Mr Dunne’s non-performing loans were closed on by Ulster Bank. These were then purchased by Joe O’Reilly’s Chartered Land, most famous for building Dundrum Town Centre, with the backing of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Reports at the time suggested that the site was purchased for around €170m. A portion is to be occupied by the five-block, upmarket Lansdowne Place development.

    Building at the site commenced in early 2016 and the concrete shells of the five blocks are currently visible. This latest release contains 22 apartments and penthouses. Considering the price ranges from €800,000 to €7.5m, it’s no surprise to learn that they are big, in every sense, with generous ceiling heights of 8ft10in, large floor to ceiling windows along with sunrooms and balconies in almost every apartment.

    At the recent unveiling of the new Google Home device, we toured what is termed the “marketing suite”, essentially a block of three-quarter-sized replica show- apartments, and they’re still quite large. When sales complete, this pseudo-block is to be demolished to house a playground.

    The Nicholson includes what joint agents Sherry Fitzgerald and Savills refer to as “the much sought after and sizeable two-bedroom, plus study residences”. This format ranges in size from 1,910sq ft to 2,076sq ft with apartments remodelled internally by architects O’Mahoney, Pike due to increasing demand for larger spaces.

    The headline grabber is the largest apartment unit ever offered on the Irish market, an enormous 7,700sq ft four-bedroom plus study eighth-floor penthouse unit. About 4,240sq ft is internal with a south-facing terrace of 1,970sq ft and a 1,490 sq ft private rooftop garden with 360-degree views. It is priced at a suitably lofty, €7.5m.

    A penthouse roof garden in the development shouts of views of the sea and a full-on view of the old Lansdowne Road football ground, now the Aviva Stadium, which is just a few hundred yards away.

    If your wallet won’t stretch that far there are two-bedroom, seventh-floor penthouse units available from just €2.25m. All penthouses come with two parking spaces. There are 23 penthouses in the 215-apartment scheme and nine have been released and sold to date. (Refer to paragraph one.)

    The proposed hotel development to replace what was formerly Jury’s hotel (currently known as the Ballsbridge Hotel), will be located adjacent to Lansdowne Place on Pembroke Road. It is to provide 211 hotel bedrooms over a seven-floor building. The developer describes it as being the anchor for a “vibrant quarter in Ballsbridge within a residential-led development offering high-end retail and fashion boutiques…”

    You can immediately tell that Lansdowne Place, or what you can currently see of it, has a decidedly cosmopolitan leaning. This is in no small way down to London based interior architects, Goddard Littlefair. Design is dominated by open plan living areas, spacious sunrooms and light optimisation throughout.

    Features include custom-designed, Irish crafted, integrated kitchens and coffered ceiling lighting, along with limestone and marble finishes in the bathroom suites. The current sales phase includes three one-bedroom apartments, 15 two-bedroom apartments, (some with studies), and four penthouses. One-bedroom apartments start from 782sq ft and cost €825,000, with two-bedroom units from 1,131sq ft to 2,076sq ft costing from €900,000.

    One of the chief selling points of the development is what is termed “the residents’ amenity offering”. It is part of what gives the development a decidedly overseas feel. This is an exclusive concierge service to be provided over two floors, totalling 6,500sq ft of space. It will be managed by a 24-hour concierge and management team headed up by Corkman, Liam Guerin, formerly of Roly’s Bistro across the road.

    Residents and guests will have access to a lounge, library, meeting room, cinema and hospitality space including a private dining room.

    Residents can bring in their own catering team to provide for dinner parties and entertaining. This lifestyle area will also house a gym, sauna, steam room and treatment rooms. A dedicated car sharing service will also be available.

    The services are paid for by an annual service-charge based on apartment size.


    This article originally appeared in the Irish Examiner.

    View of Aviva Stadium in Dublin 4 from the luxury apartments at Lansdowne Place

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    PSRA No: 002183
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    Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4

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