Dramatic reduction at Bellevue Villas to tempt buyers

AFTER what is probably the most expensive new approach driveway in Ireland, the c €15 million-plus railway bridge serving just four or five homes, you might expect house prices at Bellvue Villas to rise as well. Wrong.

The asking price for No 3 Bellevue Villas overlooking the River Lee at Tivoli in Cork city has now come down to €950,000, having been cut previously from €2m two years ago, to €1.7m, and then whittled down again.

Now, at a pragmatic sub-€1 million figure, and with a new private approach bridge costing multiples of that sum inching to completion over the Cork-Cobh/Midleton rail line, No 3 is very much priced to move, says auctioneer Ann O’Mahony of Sherry FitzGerald.

The Bellevue bridge, said to cost between €15 and €20m to provide, was an essential part of the upgrades of the Cork to Midleton rail line, and replaces a manned level crossing, and a pedestrian bridge. It vastly improves the access to this enclave of private homes, one of Cork’s finest rows of pristine period properties.

An absolutely immaculate and fully conserved end-of-terrace Georgian gem, No 3 has 4,500 sq ft of space, with three formal and fine levels of principal accommodation, plus attic rooms and a full, proper basement with self-contained apartment down here, capable of being rented out for those who don’t need all of the space on offer here.

No 3 was bought back in 2000 by a couple who’d worked in British TV, and they oversaw the restoration and upgrading, including €70,000 new roof of Bangor slates and cast iron conservation skylights.

Dating to the early 1800s, Bellevue Villas looks across the rail line, road and river to a site where developers Howard Holdings had got planning permission for a €1 billion development, Atlantic Quarter, to include three towers of 30, 20 and 10 storeys, as well as a proposed pivoting span bridge.

That timeless view now isn’t too likely to change, at least any time soon bar, perhaps, an upgrade at Pairc Ui Chaoimh) given the state of the development sector, and more particularly Howard Holdings’ own financial troubles. Most of HH’s Irish assets and sites are now being managed by a separate firm, Clowater Investments, on behalf of Anglo Irish Bank, now itself nationalised.

And, the detailed architectural model of Atlantic Quarter and its triple towers now been ignominiously shunted from a prime position to a back corner of the foyer in Howard’s City Quarter buildings on Lapps Quay.

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