Two period buildings totalling over 20,000 sq ft, with zoned land, and site scope, are for sale with a price guide north of €1.6 million, for the two. All a buyer, or buyers, will have to do is to find new uses for them.
Launched simultaneously to market with DTZ and Sherry FitzGerald are Montenotte House, on the Middle Glanmire Road, and Honan House, off Lovers Walk, for owners the COPE Foundation who say they are now surplus to their requirements.
They are offered in one lot, or separately, on a total of over five acres (with ESB pylon in a walled garden) within a kilometre of St Luke’s Cross, and are elevated, on sloping south-facing grounds overloooking the River Lee, Marina, Cork harbour, Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Blackrock.
In that view, coincidentally, is the 1830s 9,200 sq ft Dundanion House and grounds on the Blackrock Road across the Lee, recently sold on three acres. It’s understood to have made over €2m, although this is not confirmed by the agents DTZ/Sherry FitzGerald.
Other sources say it was bought by members of the Fitzgerald family, owners of call centre Abtran, which employs over 1,000 in Cork.
The family sold an investment in Abtran business in recent months to investment fund Carlyle Cardinal Ireland, for an undisclosed multi-million euro sum; other family members bought Blackrock’s Rectory, two years ago for €2 million, and are now upgrading it.
Might similar buyers be about, for these even larger mansions, built in Montenotte in the 1800s for the ‘merchant princes’ of their day?
Buying will be the easier part, and adapting them for new uses will be as costly, or considerably more so, than their purchase prices.
Finest of all is the slightly newer, Italianate Montenotte House, just shy of 12,000 sq ft, over three levels over basement.
Built around 1870 for a then Lord Mayor, Francis Lyons, it has exceptional formal reception rooms, mainly south facing, with intricate plasterwork and carvings.
Centrepiece is a scene-stealer, full-height domed atrium or arcade with marble ballustrade.
It’s incredibly accommodating, for office use, corporate HQ, or as private home. It’s on 1.95 acres, with parking and the eastern side touches on COPE Foundation’s Scoil Eanna school, adjacent to the large campus of Cope Foundation.
Cope currently caters for 2,300 children and adults, with mild intellectual disabilities and/or autism, in numerous Cork locations.
The lower grounds portion sees Honan Home also offered, some 9,500 sq ft, on 3.3 acres with large walled garden (with ESB pylon) and a gate lodge on Lovers Walk.
The Honan Home is an older building, on better, more private grounds but despite its characteristic end bows, internally is less fine, sub-divided and institutional.
It was gifted in 1896 by the Honan family and served as a home for the elderly, with chalets in the grounds.
DTZ’s Peter O’Flynn says “although constructed and used initially as private residences, both buildings have for many years been associated with the private healthcare sector.
Currently under the stewardship of COPE, the ongoing changes and additional regulations in the health sector have resulted in the buildings becoming unsuitable and are now surplus to requirements.”
: DTZ/Sherry FitzGerald 021-4275454/4273041