Fit for the city high life

THE location may be Fitton Street, but this Cork city centre development is going to be known for its fit-out.

Fitton Street is one of the southern city's old back streets, one that many would be hard put to find, not to mind put a name on.

That may be about to change, as the quality-build Quay House puts an assertive stamp on the spot. And, ironically, it took a developer from Kerry and an architect from Germany (via Dungarvan in Co Waterford), to deliver on its central location potential as the apartments go on sale, fully furnished and ready to be let out.

Quay House, home to 18 stunningly finished apartments, occupies a tiny site footprint just behind the South Mall business district so think Moore's Hotel and Morrison's Island as geographical reference points. Moore's Hotel is the temporary home of the Cork School of Music and visible from the upper floors of Quay House is the new music school on Union Quay across the river Lee.

The developer who saw what could be put on this back street was David Crowe of Killarney-based Oyster Developments. He produced one of Munster's best-finished schemes in Killarney, via his associated contracting company, Mangerton Construction, at the Courtyard last year, and has been actively scooping up Cork city and suburban sites in the past two years, at Parnell Place, Blackrock and the Carrigrohane Straight Road, among other locations.

He has used Dungarvan-based architect Sabine Wittman of the e-Project Architects for design, while his wife, Sheila Crowe, again produces an assured contemporary level of fit-out and furnishing for each of the 18 units, and their own in-house description of the level here is a four-star hotel equivalent.

The apartments are being sold by Brian Olden of Cohalan Downing. Ever before being finished and launched, most have been sold to investors who haven't batted an eyelid at the prices, or the fact there is no car parking with the development. Quality is brought to even higher levels than the Killarney Courtyard scheme.

Quay House has four one-bed apartments of about 500 sq ft, 12 two-bed apartments of 700-plus sq ft and two 800 sq ft penthouses with wrap-around roof top terraces.

Prices for the remaining one-beds are €300,000, the last few two-beds are €380,000, though others sold from €340,000, and the remaining penthouse is €550,000. Though rents won't cover mortgages, investors are confident of easy corporate lettings and strong capital appreciation.

The high-end fit-out includes exemplary ash joinery and handsome solid ash floors, Rossini kitchens and Neff appliances and hotel-quality bathrooms.

And although there's lift access to all five floors (over two ground floor commercial/medical units), taking the stairs has its own quiet satisfaction as there's a tangible quality feel to stainless steel handrails.

And, if residents want more exercise, there's even a gymnasium on Fitton Street, proving there's more than one meaning to the phrase 'fit out'.

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