A Victorian home in Sunday’s Well has lots of space and planning to build further, writes Tommy Barker.
Size: 204 sq m (2,200 sq ft)/0.19 acre
Best Feature: FPP for second contemporary home
The detached period home Ivy Bank, set above the strikingly-sited 1850s-built St Vincent’s Church in Sunday’s Well is a late-year market arrival, guided at €650,000 and has a bonus on the side — full planning permission to run up to 2020 for a contemporary, second dwelling on its c 0.19 acre site.
The Victorian-era Ivy Bank comes just as one of Cork’s very best period homes — the nearby 4,600 sq ft detached beauty Woodlawn on 1.5 acre of Lee-fronting gardens — has finally been sold at the western end of Sunday’s Well, bought by a pair of medics for c €2.2m in a deal that has yet to appear on the Price Register.
The sale of Woodlawn sees a continuation of the local history and trend of medics buying and selling Sunday’s Well’s finest properties: gracious Woodlawn was owned for many years by the Kiely medical dynasty, before selling twice since, off-market each time, first to developer Gerry Calnan, who invested heavily and who enlarged the grounds, and then on to motor dealer Bill Keary, who invested even further in the high-end pad. At one stage during the boom, Woodlawn was reported to have sold for €5m; it went back to the open market, post-boom, in September 2014, guiding €3.8 million. It had a subsequent price drop and a change of agent, repriced at €2.6m by Savills in early 2016, and is understood to have sold to a pair of medics as a family home for about €2.2m.
Also sale agreed close by and gone a good bit quicker is another Georgian home, Verulam, on 0.75 of an acre, again with river frontage plus a converted coachhouse which came to market initially in September 2015 with Sherry FitzGerald, guiding €1.85 m. It got a post-summer price drop to €1.4m, and found a buyer immediately afterwards for an as yet-unknown sum. One of that early 1800s house’s vendors, and one of its purchasers, also work in the medical field.
So, will there be healthy interest in Ivy Bank? (It’s in the centre foreground of the aerial picture above) At its €650,000 guide, it’s going to have a wider market appeal and a reach which may include other professionals and academics: the Sunday’s Well area has had a perennial appeal to senior UCC staff, but many of them got priced out in the past two decades, becoming more likely to surface as vendors than as buyers.
While both Woodlawn and Verulam had exceptionally large and glorious grounds, flowing down to the River Lee opposite Fitzgerald’s Park to complement their domestic comforts and grace, Ivy Bank is closer to the city, on the north side of the road, and if a buyer chooses to build on its grounds/adjoining site, it won’t have much by way of garden left for families.
But its positives include a solid 1880s four-bed two-storey home of c 2,200 sq ft with canted bay and box windows across the three-bay facade. It has a good deal of original features intact and has been regularly invested in, as well as lots of easily-accessed off-street parking once through electric access gates, with a detached garage.
That’s a real bonus in oft-congested Sunday’s Well, where parking for residents is at an absolute premium, while the car park at the red sandstone-built St Vincent’s Church and annexe (partly used by UCC’s music department, the church recently gave up parish mass duties, with the North Cathedral taking up the mantle) now offers parking at weekly rates.
Several of the neighbouring homes had links to the Vincentian order’s church community, and the presence of some large pieces of pitch pine in Ivy Bank suggest it too may have had a clerical influence at one stage. More recently, it’s been a private home, and family members (who renovated two street-side townhouses which back onto Ivy Bank’s grounds) moved a few miles up the River Lee towards the Angler’s Rest a few years back.
Ivy Bank is now unfurnished and so lacks the lived-in feel, but has been been freshened up and repainted and faces due south, with raised front terrace, an expanse of decking by an old magnolia tree as a viewing station, and has a sloping tarmac drive, with parking for a small fleet.
There are two well-proportioned reception rooms. One links back to a modern kitchen with part-glazed roof, there’s a den, a utility with old large safe, ground floor guest WC, and overhead are four double bedrooms, one of which has an en suite reached via a ‘secret’ door in a wall of built ins. A second bedroom has a shower en suite.
Verdict: a short stroll to Cork city centre, UCC, the Mercy Hospital, and Fitzgerald’s Park.
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