Making their debut: Opera Lane apartments hit the open market for first time

Private balconies with glass balustrades are part of the attraction at city centre luxury apartments
Making their debut: Opera Lane apartments hit the open market for first time

Opera Lane Apartments, Cork city

€450,000 - €520,000


118 sq m - 200 sq m (balcony inclusive







A SERIES of chic city centre apartments never before sold on the open market are now up for grabs. The move follows the decision by developers O’Callaghan Properties (OCP) to sell their stake in Opera Lane to a group of investors supported by Deutsche Bank.

The deal included the sale of 16 of the 20 retail units on Opera Lane, as well as 59 of the 61 apartments in the flagship OCP development. It’s understood the remaining two apartments are privately owned The move signals the exit from Opera Lane of two of its original investors, OCP and commercial property firm IPUT. New Ireland Assurance remains as one of the original investors in retail on Opera Lane. Tenants on the Lane include international fashion chains H&M, River Island, Tommy Hilfiger, Next, Topman and Gap.

While the value of the deal has not been disclosed, a report by commercial property consultancy firm Bannon last year said IPUT disposed of its 35% stake in Opera Lane retail to OCP in 2019 for €20m. This stake, together with OCP’s own stake in retail (combined stake of about 60%), made up the sale to the Deutsche Bank-supported investors, along with the sale of the 59 apartments.

The upshot of the deal is apartments that ended up going straight to the rental market in the property slump that followed the crash of 2008 have finally begun to appear on the open market.

Although they were completed in 2009 as part of one of the most significant urban renewal projects ever undertaken by OCP in Cork - Opera Lane was the first new residential and retail street to be developed in the city in over 200 years - the financial crisis made it non-viable to try and sell them back then.

A dozen years later, the first of them are up for sale, three two-beds, Nos 28, 32 and 38, starting at €450,000 and rising to €475,000 and €520,000, with the price differential down to balcony size.

The smallest, No 38, measures 118 sq m inclusive of balcony, No 28 is at 120 sq m including balcony and No 32 measures 200 sq m, with balcony.

Handling the sale is Limerick headquartered auctioneering firm, O’ Connor Murphy.

They are, according to O’Connor Murphy, “high-calibre apartments” that offer “the highest-spec urban city living experience”.

To be sure, the views are superb, both river and cityscape, and these can be enjoyed from the apartments on offer here, each of which has its own private balcony with granite effect paving and glass balustrades.

Light and views are maximised by a double-glazed window and door system, which internally, has a timber finish.

Inside, the “ergonomically designed” apartments have an entrance hall, a sizable utility/storage room including a washing machine and dryer, while double doors open out to the open-plan living/dining/kitchen area. Kitchens are Rational Die Kuche, with Velstone (glass ceramic) worktops. Appliances are integrated, including fridge/freezers, dishwashers and microwaves.

Bedroom(s) are off the hallway, with one ensuite and the main bathroom has quality Villeroy and Boch sanitary ware and thermostatically-controlled jet showers.

Apartment residents also have secure basement-level car parking with direct lift access from the basement to each floor and a video entry system in each unit to admit visitors.

The apartments feature gas fired central heating and water heating system and are wired for access to satellite cable, terrestrial TV and broadband.

A management charge of circa €1,800 per annum applies.

The Opera Lane development of luxury apartments is across two distinctive city centre blocks with an abundance of natural light provided to each block by atriums. Looking towards the river, the view takes in the beautiful redbrick Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, the city’s Custom House for more than 100 years, as well as the less attractive brick curtain wall of the Opera House, which gave the Lane its name.

The development is in the vibrant heart of Cork city, surrounded by a wide range of shops and bars and within walking distance of Patrick Street, Emmet Place, Academy Street and South Main Street.


Apartment sales have picked up in the city in recent years, albeit the pandemic has made things tricky for auctioneers and buyers alike.

One sure sign of confidence however was the arrival on the market last March, at the start of the first lockdown, of a penthouse apartment with a €1 million price guide, reported in these same Property pages.

It was 19 The Sherkin, a top floor three-bed apartment in another OCP development at Lancaster Gate, which had sold brand-new in 2007 for almost exactly the same price. That apartment has now gone sale agreed with Trevor O’Sullivan of Coldwell Banker Carlton Estates. Reports lead us to believe that it’s close to the asking price.

Other apartments at Lancaster Gate have also sold well. In 2018, No 11 The Sherkin went €15,000 over its asking price of €625,000, selling for €640,000, also with Trevor O’Sullivan. The previous year, another Lancaster Gate apartment, No 64 The Fastnet, sold for €760,000.

The Opera Lane apartments are at prices that make them accessible to a wider range of buyers, particularly professionals earning a living in the city and looking for quality accommodation in a central location.

According to O'Connor Murphy the apartments "sit at the highest end of the market in terms of potential for corporate rentals, and are in high demand with young professionals".

VERDICT: You can’t get more central than this.

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