DEVELOPMENT land on the grounds of the five-star Fota Island Resort, with full planning in place for 88 houses, half of them pitched at the “executive family market” goes to market this week for Fota’s owners the Kang family, via agents Lisney, guided at €4m.
After a full grant of planning permission for further residential development in the overall 500-acre island estate, granted on Valentine’s Day this year, the decision has been made by Fota’s owners and operators to sell on the 28 acres, in two paddocks, in a parkland setting by the golf course.
The planning grant allows for 44 big detached houses, from 2,700sq ft right up to 3,500sq ft which can be full time residences, and for 44 two-storey lodges, these for short term rentals only: previously developed houses in the estate’s ground had similar tourist let restrictions also applied in the mid-2000s.
The Fota Island Resort was first developed at a cost of €90m by the Fleming Group, and subsequent investment reports put the total cost at as much as €120m.
It includes a 130-bed five-star hotel with 20,000sq ft spa and leisure centre, championship golf courses with 27 holes (Fota twice hosted the Irish Open), golf academy, tennis courts, walking routes etc, and adjoins the historic Fota House, Gardens and Arboretum, and Fota Wildlife Park, all a few miles east of Cork City and major employment and business parks.
Fota Island Resort was acquired by the Kang family, from China, in 2013 for more than €20m from Nama after the estate went into receivership in 2010, and the same family company trading as Xiu Lan Hotels Ltd, later acquired Cork’s Kingsley Hotel on the edge of the city by the River Lee for €6m.
Both hotels have since benefited from recent further, multi-million euro investments.
At Fota, Lisney estate agent Edward Hanafin says the proposed 20-acre
section (‘Paddock 3’) with the larger, detached houses and unrestricted occupancy would “cater for the higher value executive market, and it would be a first for Cork.
“This higher value executive market is not currently being catered for in terms of new homes developments and the close proximity of the many amenities within Fota Island Resort will be a big selling point,” he adds.
At the €4m guide, it equates to €143,000 an acre, or about €45,000 per stand, and services are already in place from prior development to allow quite immediate construction.
The last phase of prior residential/rental development was at market peak time, 2007, when 48 lodges were launched at prices from €500,000 to €750,000, at just 750sq ft and 1,550sq ft.
Potential bidders may seek to amend the planning on the proposed short term letting holiday homes on ‘Paddock 2’, for alternative uses, such as a nursing home, retirement village, subject to planning permission, Mr Hanafin suggests.
The development sites are located inside the main access point to the upmarket and heavily wooded Fota Resort, some 15kms east of Cork city, 6kms from Cobh, and reached via the Carrigtwohill intersection on the N25.
Looking to recent upmarket sales east of the city in locations like The Hermitage and Cois Chuain, where top prices have gone into the €700,000-plus bracket, Lisney say the Fota land offer “represents a unique, ready-to-go residential development opportunity as planning contributions are already paid and all main services are available.
In fact much of the services infrastructure is already in place on site as part of the previous residential developments at Fota Island Resort.”