Tommy Barker marvels at an apartment that could be more Hollywood Hills and Bel Air than near Hollyhill, Cork.
There’s an inadvertent irony in the side-by-side gated experiences up at Lisín, at Cork’s Strawberry Hill, above Sunday’s Well. This gated development of 12 houses, built in boom times in 2005 to a five-star corporate let standard, is cheek-by-jowl with the Old City Gaol, now a very popular tourism attraction in its own right.
But while the gaol had cells galore, exercise yards and unscalable 30’-high perimeter walls, its gates were deliberately designed to keep the inmates securely inside.
By way of contrast at leafy Lisín, the electric gates are designed to keep the world out, first and foremost, and by extension provide security within (but also easy egress) to the apartments’ residents.
Even for the times that were in it in 2005, Lisín’s launch was high-end stuff, at elevated prices.
Built by developer Gerry Calnan who had made several sizeable Sunday’s Well investments, the 12 apartments here went for sale and found buyers at prices from €510,000 for 1,000 sq ft two-beds, right up to nearly €700,000 at the upper end of the site, and for the largest units of well over 1,300 sq ft. Resales have been quite uncommon here, and many have earned a crust as corporate lets.
After all, Apple with its several thousand jobs is just an uphill walk at Hollyhill, or, equally, a walk away to Apple’s other office at Half Moon St.
When the sun get in over the high old walls at Lisín, there’s a very special air to the spot, in its gated seclusion: it could be more Hollywood Hills and Bel Air than Hollyhill, or some Provencal France setting with its mature pine trees to the south, and pine needles scattering across the cobble lock drive and landscaped beds.
So, into this inner sanctum comes change: No 10 Lisín is on the market this month, guided at €375,000 by estate agents Brian Olden and Jackie Cohalan of Cohalan Downing, who calculate its floor area at 1,400 sq ft, which makes it possibly the largest apartment of all in the enclave.
No 10’s up at first-floor level, with external steps, and it’s smart inside and outside, with a decor that tends towards the classical rather than the contemporary, a reminder that on launch, the show units were furnished with antiques, on parquet hardwood floors.
Within, it has extra high ceilings and a bright touch, it has dual balconies, the main one facing south, the other east, off the main 27’ by 13’ kitchen/dining, and condition is immaculate, stresses Mr Olden.
Separately, there’s a cosier lounge, with wood-panelled walls painted a crisp white and it has a book-display shelf running high up around the room’s perimeter, sort of at picture rail height. This room has a feature porthole window, and as in the rest of the apartment, heating is underfloor and gas fired.
The apartment (which has been a privately-owned corporate let) has its own sound system, with discrete speakers in the ceilings. Elsewhere, there’s a shower room off the parquet-floored hall in a herringbone pattern, and one of the two bedrooms is en suite, with a bath, with French doors from this carpeted bedroom suite to yet another balcony.
VERDICT: Could again be bought as a corporate let, or a Cork city base for an overseas buyer, or, again, a trader-down, perhaps from someone living in a larger home in the Sunday’s Well vicinity.
Sunday’s Well, Cork, €375,000
Size: 139sq m (1,400 sq ft)
Best feature: True high-end apartment home
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