Golden Arches - no bull

Blackrock Road, Cork city €525,000

Golden Arches - no bull

It’s not quite McDonalds’ Golden Arches, but two retained old stone arches lead to a golden spot for new Cork suburban homes — four, so far, and maybe more to come, at a spot called Citadella, at the end of Bull’s Lane.

Not too many Cork citizens could tell you where to find Bull’s Lane: it’s a hideaway, a cul de sac leading to what looks like a derelict old farmhouse, on an overgrown plot of an acre or two of secret suburbia. It’s right next door to the just-rebuilt Ashton Comprehensive School, with that school’s playing pitches just to the south of this site, and Bull’s Lane is accessed along the side of Springville House, a 1960s office block that has been hit by fire, and awaits a new fate.

There’s only a handful of houses along Bull’s Lane right now, including a pair of gently ageing broad, generous period homes behind high walls. In contrast, the four new interlopers at the lane’s end are tall, narrow and Victorian in look— think another of the many variations on the Lindville, Ballintemple theme. And, they’ll surely be painted creamy yellow?

Citadella — the name means walled fortress — is being done by a new trading name on the construction front, Citidwell Ltd, whose name-plate is also currently evident on a pair of smart semis being built on High Street, and here at Citadella, they’ve found a site few knew even existed.

Currently, there’s a retained two-storey farmhouse at the site’s core, and this is likely to be knocked and replaced, so access to the four new young ’un’s will be around to the side, under a second arch which used to lead to old outbuildings, now demolished.

The new-builds are on the southern and eastern end of the site, and there’s a bit more land to the west, but as yet no planning for it, so in time there could be another compact crop of homes here too: it won’t remain idle, that’s for sure.

The builders are now on site, with foundations down for the four new detached homes coming out of the ground and set for completion next spring, fully finished. Auctioneers are Ann O’Mahony and Paul O’Shea of Sherry FitzGerald, who guide at €525,000 for the new-builds aiming for a A3 BER and which will just fall short of 1,600 sq ft size-wise.

Price-wise, they come to market a full year after six new-builds done by Rockforest Homes at Boreenmanna Road sold swiftly at c €400,000 each for 1,800 sq ft homes, with optional attics giving 500 sq ft more to those buyers for an additional €30,000. If re-offered now, any of those six would show a handy profit for their owners, who jumped in as the market regained some confidence.

So, showing the effect of a year of price growth in Cork suburbs Citadella’s targeted buyers are getting smaller homes of 1,582 sq ft, for €100,000 more, albeit in a far more private, walled and arched off-road/cul de sac setting, with a Blackrock Road address, at the city end by the Old Blackrock Road. The city centre’s a far shorter walk than Blackrock village, and close to hand is Kennedy Park on Victoria Road, with the Marina beckoning beyond.

Effectively one room wide (plus hall at ground floor) these four homes are set to have two decent en suite bedrooms at first floor level, with two further narrower ones under sloping roofs on top, with a shared bathroom there too.

At entry level, there’s a deep front sitting room with bay window and solid fuel stove, and behind a kitchen/dining room, full width, and beyond that again is a family room/sun room, with side patio and all overlooking a south-facing back garden, sloping down to an old stone boundary wall. Gardens will be landscaped, and already have some mature trees at the boundaries, while of a Saturday morning, and on various afternoons, the sound of clashing hockey sticks and goal-bound balls will be heard over the back wall.

They’ll be floored internally, plastered and painted and finished with kitchens (but not appliances,) bathrooms will be tiled and there’ll be a stove and gas-fired underfloor heating at ground level, and the BER’s a provisional A3, the new standard for new-builds.

VERDICT: No Bull: the two arches will be an anchor and calling card for walled-in Citadella.

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