ON its autumn weekend launch, back just at the start of October 2018, about 800 people came to view the first showhouse at the crisply detailed Aylesbury development, in Cork’s suburban Ballintemple, on the old Ericom brownfield right next door to Cork Con’s rugby pitches.
It was quite the civilised scrum. In fact, there was even a coffee van doing free shots of espressos and lattes for the callers and for the merely curious, who visited the upmarket scheme’s signature calling card, the 1,819 sq ft four-bedroom detached. Aylesbury only broke ground 11 months ago, and now, already, a further showhouse launch beckons next weekend , with a top notch interior design done for developers Centurion Homes, by designer and artist Niamh MacGowan. And, clearly there’s been a whole lot of (team) building going on behind the front row of five tall detacheds.
Completion is due in a record time of Q1 2020, says developer Noel Barry, director of Centurion Homes, as he hints at similarities between the Aylesbury development in Ballintemple, and their plans for a just-acquired seven acre prime plot on the South Douglas Road.
Centurion Homes emerged as top bidders, paying the equivalent of €10m or €1.4m per acre for the land sold by the Whitaker family of Johnson & Perrott business links. It was expected that that Douglas site, a farm field amid housing developments (Cork’s best suburban plot?) would be sold for high-density ‘Built to Rent’ development; however, Mr Barry says they may seek to lower density expectations, and to go for a broader housing mix, with Aylesbury serving as an approximate guide.
If so, it will follow on from their similar rationale to reduce density at the Aylesbury Ballintemple five acre site (€800,000 per acre) , which they bought with planning for 144 units, including 116 apartments. Instead, they sought and got planning for 76 units, including detacheds, terraced homes, ground floor apartments and duplexes.
Now, at Aylesbury, there have been 16 sales of 19 units released, mostly to older, private buyers. The mix included 807 sq ft two-bed apartments at €290,000, 1,378 sq ft three-bed duplexes at €385,00 and townhouses at €495,000 (mid-terrace) to €530,000, for end terraced homes.
Critically, deals are now agreed on two of the detacheds which had launched at in the low to mid €700,000s, with a third detached sale in the wings, according to selling agent Elizabeth Hegarty of Savills Residential.
Come next weekend,April 6, a second showhouse opens for the release of eight more units stepping up to the sales mark, and this time it’s a three-story, 1,765 sq ft (164 sq m) end-terrace townhouse.
It hits many of the same quality and design marks as the slightly larger detacheds (there’s only 55 sq ft in the difference), albeit in a layout that’s a little bit deeper, and a bit narrower, and has two of its four bedrooms at the uppermost level, instead of the single top floor suite in the 1,819 sq ft detacheds.
Revisiting the site six months on from the October launch (as many calling next week may also be on second visits) it’s clear that the quality is working its way too from the front, towards the back of this deep suburban site. Its landscaping is to the same high standard, as are things like the zinc trim, and expansive use of the same St Ives Cream Rustica mellow brick, with overall design by Kinsale-based architect Richard Rainey, who also did Centurion’s Cluain Mara scheme in Kinsale.
The new release of these eight townhouses sees prices inch up by €5k to €500,000 for mid-terraced, which will still qualify for the Government’s Help to Buy schemes which has its upper threshold at €500k, and end terraces will be €535,000.
The new townhouse layout sees features like optional study/desk areas at first and second floor landings (pic, right), extra high ceilings of up to 2.7m, built-ins in all bedrooms, fully painted in Colourtrend colours, alu-clad windows, Daiken high efficiency gas fired heat pumps for heating, underfloor at ground level and via alu rads upstairs, wall hung sanitary ware, Kube Kitchens with Silestone tops and appliances, limestone rear patios and cobbled front drives. Internal doors, joinery and sanitary ware etc are supplied to the same standard across the range, from apartments and duplexes, to houses, adds Centurion’s Noel Barry.
Aylesbury’s latest show unit, for the townhouse model, is open Saturday of next weekend, 12pm to 2pm, and with internal road surfacing now in gear, it’s also hoped that an apartment and duplex model to shell level will be available to individual viewers also, says Savills’ Ms Hegarty.
VERDICT: An impressive southside site, and now developers Centurion also have a peach of a plot to follow on with on the South Douglas Road.