In the run-up to the developers equivalent of the Stations, there was a blizzard of hard hats sanding, painting and polishing prior to the launch of two show houses last Saturday.
The Compass Quay development shows Fleming Construction at the top of their game, says selling agent, Pacelli Nolan of SWS Property Services, and they are offering really good value properties, built to a high standard in a waterside location in Kinsale, she says
And to hammer the point home, she adds that they offer a 2,355 square foot, top of the range, detached property of 2,355 square feet for €545,000 - well below similar price ranges in the city.
Similarly, their smallest house type, which has a generous floor plan of 1,241 square feet, starts at €233,000. Joint selling agent for Compass Quay is Jackie Cohalan of Cohalan Downing.
The range is bewildering - for a scheme of just 105 units there are 11 different houses on offer and these divide into 75 townhouses, including 3 to 4-bed semi’s and end houses, to 35, four to five bedroomed properties, with even more space in the steeply pitched attics.
The Compass Hill site is also unusual: firstly, it wraps around Commogue Marsh, (development here was only possible after a series of protracted appeals to An Bord Pleanála), a wetland, nature reserve, which must be one of the better green areas to come with any estate.
And unlike other urban estates, you can smell the sea from your front door, which has views of the Bandon estuary and the hills beyond.
As a place to live, it’s gorgeous, and Flemings have put a lot of work into landscaping to decrease the immediate impact of the estate. This doesn’t extend to the houses, however, which are painted in bold blues and terracotta. The simple, rendered facades have cedar highlights here and there, giving this development a modern/traditional look, a seeming contradiction - but it works.
Fleming Construction showcase not only the designs of architect, Richard Rainey, but also their new, steel-framed building system which allows higher standards of heating and sound insulation than comparable products, they say.
For Kinsale, a town that traditionally has had high property values, this development will allow young people the chance to live in their own neighbourhood at prices that are reachable. In fact, with the size and level of finish on offer, the net will be considerably wider, and for the larger houses there should be a lot of interest from Cork-based customers willing to commute.
The Saturday and Sunday opening of the show houses has seen sales reach the halfway mark, says Pacelli Nolan, and so far, purchasers have come from very mixed backgrounds.
Some are older couples trading down, some younger couples trading up and some are expats booking their retirement home early.
The first-time buyer market has also been strong, and, as Compass Hill matures, it should have a good mix of age groups and demographics, says Ms Nolan.
Right now, access is from the coast road only, but there is a connecting road almost completed to Abbey View, where the local community and primary schools are situated. This means families will be able to walk to and from school. A leisure centre is also planned within a five minute walk from Compass Hill.