Lovetts’ restaurant serves appetite for top temples in Cork

The sale has closed on the former Lovetts’ restaurant in Cork’s suburbs, for 20% over its guide. 

Lovetts’ restaurant serves appetite for top temples in Cork

Also sold in recent weeks via the same agents, Savills, is Temple Grove, a scheme of 35 recently-built apartments on suburban Carr’s Hill, making an average of c €165,000 each, selling over its €5.5 million guide.

The part-listed, 5,100 sq ft period property which ceased trading as Lovett’s in 2006 is on a walled 0.59 acre site by the Well Road/Skehard Road junction. Also called Ballinlough House, it has been acquired for c €600,000 by a private buyer, having been put to market with Savills in February 2014 guiding €500,000.

It has been bought via an intermediary, and was acquired with its bar licence as part of the deal. While there had been commercial interest during the marketing, it possibly has been bought as a private home “and is great value at that,” according to Savills’ Cork director Catherine McAuliffe.

The property had traded as a top restaurant for almost 30 years, run by two generations of the Lovett family, who sold in the mid 2000s for a reported €4m.

Developers Lanes initially sought planning for 33 apartments, and later revised the planning aim to 19 units, with permission granted by An Bord Pleanála in 2009, but which now has just lapsed. Several of the proposed new residential units were to have been within the protected portion of the structure.

Given the site size (a section had to be kept back for parking for townhouses previously developed by Lovetts in the grounds) it still has development potential, even if only for small number of units - depending on its new owner’s longer term aims.

The house has kept many of its Georgian features, and is close to where another restored and even larger period dwelling made a brief market foray pre-Christmas on-line, guiding over €1m, before being swiftly withdrawn.

Last year, Savills noted the sale of Ballinlough House “represents a tremendous opportunity to acquire a significant landmark building in a mature, residential suburb of the city. These opportunities are limited”.

Meanwhile, also concluded is a deal on 35 apartments in a completed block at Temple Grove, Carr’s Hill Douglas, a scheme started in 2007 by developers Frinailla along with detached homes in a separate section called the Vicarage, and finished 18 months ago.

Temple Grove’s 35 apartments were bought for between €5.5m and €6m by a private Munster investor, according to Savills’ MS McAuliffe, attracted by a rent roll of €395,000 pa and a return of over 6%.

Individual apartments in the Temple Grove scheme (it totalled 50 units) have been selling at €185,000, and at launch were priced at €370,000 for 87 sq m two-beds, with basement parking.

It went to market last October as one lot, pitched just in time for its purchaser to avail of the seven-year CGT exemption window.

Temple Grove’s owner of 35 units has the option to retain the block as-is, or to break up and sell on in what’s seen as a recovering Cork apartment market for quality residential units/investments.

* Details: Savills, 021-4271371.

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