Sweet commuter dreams in choc box village

Tommy Barker says Adare Village is proving a hit with Limerick buyers.

ADARE in Co Limerick has two villages, one very original, as quaint as a chocolate box and one of the country’s prettiest estate villages. The other, Adare Village with a capital V, is a more modern confection, but still highly palatable.

Adare Village is a new up-market housing development, primarily finding favour with Limerick city buyers who see the advantage of a swift commute via new roads from the city to a rural lifestyle with top-end village advantages, and golf thrown in.

Adare’s “real” village dates to about 1200 AD, and the spot was put on a wider map when the Tudor/Gothic Adare Manor was built in the mid-1800s.

The Earl of Dunraven family tenure only ended in the 1980s, when the property was briefly owned by a Saudi group, before the American financier Tom Kane bought it, a snip for IR£2 million. As he’d bought it sight unseen, he reckoned at the time that even if the main house was a knock-down, he at least had real estate possibilities on his hands, what with 840 acres of prime land thrown into the bargain. And what real estate it is turning out to be.

Now, after the main house’s renovation, extension, hotel conversion and the delivery in 1995 of a Robert Trent Jones-designed parkland 7,450-yard golf course and golf resort, comes yet another phase in Adare’ evolution, the Village.

There’s planning in place, on a 10-year permission, for 278 houses, of which 69 have been fully built out by contractors McInerneys, overseen by engineer Ciaran Gallagher of CJM Services.

The majority of the 69 houses, one on 24 acres in the immaculately finished stand-alone phase of development, have been sold and are being/have been occupied, with just 12 left to sell, via agents Sherry FitzGerald O’Malley.

The Village has eight different house types, ranging from 1,350 sq ft three-bed townhouses and semis to five-bed, three-storey 3,000 sq ft detacheds, and prices go from €400,000 to €1.2m.

Features of the design, by Healy & Partners Architects, include wide avenues between the timber-frame construction with painted render finishes, painted quality double-glazed timber windows, limestone sills, brick chimneys with three tall terracotta pots, slate roofs, and cast iron rainwater goods.

Inside, the kitchens are fitted, the bedrooms have requisite built-ins, skirtings are high, and wiring is to a good spec with data points, phone and TV points, and surround sound, with pre-wiring or alarms.

Currently Adare village (that’s with the small “v”) has a population of about 1,800, and development is pretty much restricted. Apart from Manor’s own real estate ventures (the Village follows on after a few earlier clusters of tax incentivised holiday homes in the Manor’s sprawling parkland and woodland grounds.)

The Manor owner Kane is also behind a planned €100m private hospital, with builder Bernard McNamara’s signs up for it right by the entrance to the Adare Village scheme.

Adare’s access to Limerick city is recently vastly improved, and once it gets a badly needed bypass (no relation to private medicine) a site or house here will be even more sprinkled with gold dust.

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