A ‘FARMED’ field of seven acres, in the heart of suburban Douglas in Cork city is being sold for about €10m, or €1.4m an acre, to rapidly-expanding developers Centurion Homes, currently active in Dublin and Cork.
The truly prime site made considerably over expectations of €1m per acre, or €7/€8m all-in when it went to market in November with Savills Cork: it’s understood to have attracted interest from up to eight bidders, both locals and from Dublin/nationally, with best bids sought by December.
It’s likely to take a development of 150 homes, in a mix of houses and apartments, which may be pitched at the Build to Rent sector, on a site 750 metres from Douglas village, and 2.5kms from the city centre.
Centurion Homes have emerged as the successful ‘preferred’ bidders, in a sale by licence, of the highly-valuable prime residential development land, between the main and south Douglas roads.
Headed in Dublin by Mark Leonard, and in Cork by director Noel Barry, Centurion Homes completed the 27-unit Kinsale development Cluain Mara last year, and have projects in Dublin at The Rise in Mount Merrion, and at Irishtown.
They are currently active on the former Eir site, at Ballintemple next to Cork Constitution RFC, developing around 70 units at Aylesbury. That launched via Savills in October, at prices from €290,000 for two-bed apartments, to detacheds in the mid €700,000s. A second show unit, a townhouse, launches Aylesbury’s next phase in about a month’s time.
Centurion Homes paid €4m or €800,000 per acre for the five-acre Ballintemple site: that’s in contrast to the €1.4m per acre for the larger 7.2 acre Douglas site.
This was offered for sale by licence agreement, attracting interest to deliver Cork’s first, purpose-built high-density PRS apartment development, with apartments assured of high-end rents, according to agents Peter O’Meara and James O’Donovan of Savills Cork.
Owned by the Whitaker family, and set just south of their Douglas Johnson & Perrott garage dealership, the majority of the 7.2 acres is zoned residential and includes the period, 3,000 sq ft over-basement bow-ended Ballincurrig Villa, vacant for 30 years.
Mark Whitaker said the site at Douglas Road “was originally acquired by William Perrott in 1917 and has been part of our family business heritage ever since.”
It is bounded on the east by Tramore Lawn, and to the west by Rathmore Lawn/Rhodaville Estate, comprising rows of two-storey semi-detached homes in the main.
No proposed heights for the site’s development is yet publicly indicated.
Mr Whitaker said the decision to sell by licence meant they had input at the early planning stages to ensure the quality of any residential scheme being developed next to their own private family homes and to the existing, 40-job motor dealership on the Douglas Road, which remains unaffected by the land sale.
On sales launch in November, Savills said “it’s one of, if not the best greenfield residential development site to come to the city market in the past 10 to 15 years.
“It’s capable of accommodating a large number of residential units in the short term, and has the potential to deliver Cork’s first purpose-built PRS development, subject to planning permission, in one of the most desirable residential addresses in the city.”