House of the week: Victoria Road, Cork

City living convenience? It hardly gets any better than Cork’s Marina Park, at the city end (or, the very start) of the Blackrock Road at its Victoria Road nexus.

It’s next door to the green space of Kennedy Park, has the cafes Salt and Sonny’s deli within a stroll, as well as quirky bars on the quays, and handily the city centre is a 10-minute stroll away.

As close too is Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the Council’s assembled site for the proposed €5m public amenity Marina Park upgrade by the former Showgrounds and the Atlantic Pond: basically, the location is getting better by the year.

As positively, many hundreds of new office-based and FDI jobs are on the way, at Albert Quay’s Navigation Square and neighbouring quayside sites, as Cork’s temporarily mothballed docklands ambitions get reawakened post-recession.

Arriving new to market at the entrance to the cul-de-sac domestic/residential Marina Park is No 14, a four-bed semi-d with two en-suite bedrooms. It has been a well-kept investment property of late, but is likely to be bought as a private family home, given all its positive attributes.

Set on a corner site on the way into this 1940s collection of c 50, mostly semi-detached houses within Marina Park, it’s a house built by Lanes in a tidy and, indeed modest development that has seen a resurgence of appeal as it’s just so accessible to all essential city supports.

No 14 is guided at €390,000 by agent Florence Gabriel of Sherry FitzGerald, and that’s about the highest any of these semi-ds will have made in recent years. The most recent sale of a standard Marina Park three-bed semi here was No 20, late last November, at €360,000, above its initial €320,000 asking price quoted by No 20’s agents Casey & Kingston.

However, one of the rare detached Marina Park houses, called Elmon, did sell in 2015/2016, for an even €500,000 according to the Price Register. Set on the main road by the traffic lights facing Victoria Road, Elmon had previously gone for sale in 2013 via Marshs in a lovely, original condition guiding €295,000: it sold, got a contemporary extension added on, and was subsequently resold by its enterprising do-er upper, a chef.

Might whoever looks at Sherry Fitz’s No 14 consider adding on a glass and grey render box extension similar to Elmon’s, which can be glimpsed from the back of this semi-d with its current two storey annex?

The wedge shaped site will allow for a side/rear extension/reworking of the annex (kitchen below, single bedroom overhead), even if getting light in will be the challenge given the aspect (sort of diagonally south-west to the front, so not an ideal north-east to the back.)

It’s in good condition as it stands, with replacement windows, gas central heating and a simple kitchen.

The fact of having four bedrooms with two en suites already makes it accommodating on the sleeping front, even if the bedrooms aren’t overly large as a result: a good architect will maximise the triangular-shaped site’s potential, if new owners have the funds to build on to what’s currently a c 1,200 sq ft house.

A number of other Marina Park homes have done successful extensions, single and two-storey, though many had larger rear gardens to begin with.

Currently, No 14’s ground floor accommodation sees reception rooms front and back with original fireplaces and picture rails, and floors now are solid walnut, as it is in the hall; might the house’s original terrazzo floor still be in situ underneath?

Agent Florence Gabriel has open viewings on Wednesday and Saturday next, and can expect to be busy at potential-packed No 14, which has the added advantage of being able to move into now and work further or more ambitiously on at almost any time in the future, subject to planning.

Ms Gabriel’s confident of it selling to private buyers, having recently gone ‘sale agreed’ at the fully refurbished 2 St Joseph’s Place, 250 yards away on the Blackrock side by Ashton Comprehensive. She had listed that period, mid-terraced four-bed 165 sq m home with on-street parking in September at €395,000, and it’s now sale agreed at €440,000.

VERDICT: Sort of a suburban semi-d in an increasingly urbanised setting. With such a strong push among buyers to be as close as possible to city conveniences, this gaff is set to rock and roll.

Victoria Road, Cork city

€395,000

Size: 112 sq m (1,200 sq ft)

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 4

BER: D2


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