Tall semi is high-class

Maryborough, Cork, €385,000

Tall semi is high-class

The popular Maryborough Woods development above Douglas may well prove to be the swansong of house builders, O’Brien and O’Flynn. Having built 4,000 houses across the greater Cork area since 1976, the firm, which “put a lot of decent people into decent houses”, as one commentator observed, was placed in provisional liquidation just last week.

Many now may ponder just who will be in a position to build 50, 100 or even 500 of the thousands of new houses that will be needed around the city in the next several years.

O’Brien and O’Flynn join a roll of troubled building firms post-bust, that includes the likes of McInerney’s, Coleman’s, Fleming’s, Frinailla, Bride View, Ridge, Pierce Construction, John Barry’s Castlelands, Murphy Construction, and many others, including (in a current limbo situation) O’Flynn Construction, battling this past week to fight off US equity vulture fund, Blackstone.

While some firms, such as Rockforest Homes, are picking up select sites for groups of homes, the few still building on a scale in the greater Cork area are down to a handful, like Ruden Homes, Astra Construction, and Owen O’Callaghan.

After O’Brien and O’Flynn has some good sites, such as Harbour Heights, in Passage West but, having built the large Maryborough Ridge through the early 2000s, the follow-on Maryborough Woods was probably its next best thing, and it became home to some very varied and attractive house designs on an old, country tree-lined avenue beyond Douglas Golf Club.

Sailing into a suddenly upscuttled market in this outer Douglas hinterland is No 2 Southwinds in Maryborough Woods. It’s only recently had a full decorative overhaul and refurb, and even has deft interior design touches in its children’s and babies’ rooms — no small achievement.

A three-storey, 1,850 sq ft family home, it is priced at €385,000 with auctioneers Sherry FitzGerald, who dub it “spectacular, with a luxurious and stylish decor”.

It’s a tall semi-d, with reception rooms front and back of the ground floor, with a long and slender kitchen behind, in contrasting white units, with black, tiled floor (which runs through the hall, as well, by the utility and guest WC) and black-granite worktops.

The first floor has a family bathroom, three bedrooms, one with bay window and en-suite, and the top floor has a great master suite, with west-facing Juliet balcony to the front and a dressing room, plus en-suite bathroom with double power-shower and bath. It’s a great room to which parents of older children can withdraw.

Good thought has been given to storage, yet there’s a streamlined feel and flair, say Gillian McDonnell and Sheila O’Flynn of Sherry FitzGerald, and there’s a green area in front. Douglas is near to hand down Maryborough Hill, and the south ring road/Sli Carrig Donn is quite adjacent, too.

No 2 has a cobble drive for parking several cars, and the well-shrubbed garden behind is a reasonable size, with shed, path and patio.

VERDICT: Tasty, fresh decor enhanced by artworks.

Best Feature: Internal style.

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