Ripe for the taking

THERE are green shoots of growth — in more ways than one — at the country’s tallest apartment tower, Cork’s Elysian building.

There are 15 sales contracted, out of 25 deposits already secured, with one €1.8 million purchase handed over, while the first new residents have recently moved in, mostly to apartments bought by investors.

But there’s also more movement afoot in the spectacular elevated one-acre Japanese garden and up in the tower itself, where top chef and TV programme host Richard Corrigan has an apartment winter garden and roof gardens set to produce a sample summer salad.

Corrigan kicked off the City Farm RTÉ One series this week with recruits being drilled in allotment growing techniques in two of the city’s suburbs. Now there’s more produce set to flow from the Elysian’s green-glassed fingers.

One of the glazed tower’s sharp, angular winter gardens (with the help of Corrigan and Dunsland Garden Centre) is growing tomatoes, olives, a range of citrus fruits, including oranges, and even grapes on a vine. That’s handy, as a deal has been struck this month (several more Elysian commercial deals are well advanced via Lisney and DTZ) for a new restaurant/wine-bar, El Vino, on the ground floor.

The Elysian was given a champagne launch in September, at a time when the property market had lost its fizz, with developer Michael O’Flynn of O’Flynn Construction going for assertive pricing, which he argued represented the cost and the value of what is one of the country’s landmark quality developments. So getting 15 signed contracts and sales in the current market is a solid achievement.

Several of those purchases are being rented out by their investor-buyers, and now they are being tenanted O’Flynn Construction has released a further 25 units to the corporate-let market. Rents average €1,600 per month for big two-beds.

There are 25 Elysian units sold or “sale agreed”, and about seven agreed sales are well advanced.

“Sales have been no better, but — critically — no worse than at any other new homes scheme we have at the moment,” says Trish Stokes of selling agents Sherry FitzGerald.

“They are on a par with the market and I can honestly say the impression from all those who been through it is that they’ve been blown away by the quality and by the product. Unlike Dublin, there’s no overhang of stock in the Cork city market like the Elysian, it is unique.”

Thousands have been through the building, thanks to fundraising open days and other special events.

Moving on sales will continue apace for the 211 apartments, ranging across 57 types or variations and from one beds to four beds.

For those watching other developments with price reductions, the continuing word on the Elysian is the prices are fixed, no negotiation. O’Flynn Construction, via Sherry FitzGerald, is offering a price guarantee similar to Ulster Bank’s against any reductions in value/price over a specified time period.

Prices range from 630 sq ft one-beds, with parking, at €375,000, through to 1,117 sq ft two-beds at €575,000, larger three-beds (two en-suites) at €750,000, while the best and largest penthouses are up to 2,450 sq ft and priced up to €2 million.

Show apartments open at the Elysian today from 12 noon to 3pm, and Wednesday 4.30pm to 6.30pm, while other O’Flynn Construction schemes in Crosshaven, Ballincollig and Douglas/Rochestown are open tomorrow, 2.30pm to 4.30pm with prices — many reduced from earlier highs — and some new releases from €190,000, up to €980,000 for a Rochestown 2,800 sq ft six-bed, via Sherry FitzGerald.


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