Belmont House sale has all manor of opportunities

DEVELOPMENT opportunity, or high-status dwelling - it's hard to tell when it comes to Belmont House in Rochestown.

This modern, 3,500 square foot property has the luxury of an acre-plus site in one of the most desirable areas in south Cork. And while the market for single properties at the €2.5 million mark is rather limited, that’s the level being pitched by Anthony O’Regan of Keane Mahony Smith, who’s handling the sale.

It could sell for even more, says Mr O’Regan, who underlines the strong development potential of the site which could, he says, incorporate a new, gated estate on the lines of Eyrecourt, which is next door, or a discrete crescent of townhouses with a higher density.

Eyrecourt, Howard Holdings second ever development in Cork city, was built six years ago to a high spec and had a high entry level during the early days of the property boom. These houses have appreciated greatly and their size and location means they could fetch up to €1.5 million, which gives some indication of the worth of Belmont in re-development terms.

However, not all of the site is being sold at the moment, says Mr O’Regan, (although his client might be open to discussion on the matter if there was serious interest, he adds), just the house and part of the gardens which come in at under an acre.

With gnarled apple trees, arched beeches and an ancient sweet chestnut, the grounds are hugely attractive and any scheme built here would command attention. Eyrecourt is on the left hand boundary of Belmont House and the right-hand side is the new Belmont scheme of semis and townhouses: close by, planning is in train for another high density development behind Garryduff Sports Centre.

This area is filling up rapidly as the green fields give way to urban housing. Mount Oval village, with its trademark yellow houses, is the largest scheme in an area with predominantly one-off and detached houses. Access to the Link Road and Douglas is on the doorstep and demand for homes here is huge, which ensures keen interest from developers when land comes up for sale.

As a large, family home, however, the new Belmont House has lots to recommend it. Sitting at the end of a long driveway, it’s an oasis of calm in the suburbs and even though there is housing all the way around, it has a wide privacy belt. The site is elevated and level, which means it has a good, sunny aspect and the bay windows in every room ensure plenty of light.

Loosely-based on the original dwelling, the outstanding feature of the house is the impressive entrance hall. The square foot of this oak floored area alone is the equivalent of the ground floor of a standard semi. Room sizes are generous and fire pieces are antique, which give that aged look to what is essentially a modern take on an old lodge.

Considering the size of the property, it comes with just four bedrooms on the upper level, all of which are very large and are served by a main bathroom. There’s still a little bit of finishing off to be done, but overall, Belmont House is quite an impressive property which might even subdivide into apartments, suggests Mr O’Regan.

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