Greystones Marina homes a decade in the making

The controversial development was announced in 2006 and has eventually come to fruition, with the first phase of Marina Village houses on sale this weekend with prices ranging from €485,000-€655,000

The controversial development was announced in 2006 and has eventually come to fruition, with the first phase of Marina Village houses on sale this weekend with prices ranging from €485,000-€655,000. Video: Kathleen Harris

 

The regeneration of Greystones Marina, since it was first mooted in the mid-2000s, has been a long and controversial process, not least for the people of Greystones.

When the public-private partnership between Wicklow County Council, Sisk and Park Developments announced its plans in 2006 the project attracted 9,000 objections.

There was widespread concern that necessary improvements to the dilapidated Victorian harbour were to be funded by the sacrifice of the foreshore and beach to private developers seeking to build 340 homes on reclaimed land.

Works on the harbour forged ahead, but ran into the ground circa 2010 following the property crash and ensuing recession. The viability of the entire scheme was dependent on the sale of the residential units, but faced with the collapse in housing demand the development funding ran dry.

For five long years a question mark hung over the future of the scheme and the partial works became an eyesore. Following the departure of Park Developments from the partnership, Sisk – which has invested an estimated €80 million in substantial marine engineering works – and Wicklow County Council secured new backing from investment fund Targeted Investment Opportunities. The fund is managed by Oaktree Capital, a global investment manager. Bridgedale Homes was appointed in 2015 to complete the housing and other public elements of the project.

To date the Victorian harbour’s public infrastructure includes two breakwaters comprising south and north piers, a 200-berth commercial marina, a public plaza and 12,000sq ft clubhouse buildings on the pier to accommodate the displaced sailing and angling clubs. Still to come from Bridgedale is an OPW coastguard station, a boardwalk to the marina, a 14.5-acre public park at the foot of Bray Head, a new beach and several retail units.

Lynchpin

The lynchpin of the project – for the investors – is the 358-unit residential development of houses and apartments. And this weekend the first phase of houses go on sale priced from €485,000 for a 1,500sq ft/139sq m four-bed semi to €655,000 for 2,300sq ft/214sq m four/five beds arranged over three floors.

On a sunny morning in Greystones, the new harbour is looking its best.

Sunlight glistens on the water, boats rock gently in the marina, children and dogs play about on the stony beach.

More people arrive and soon all the public benches are occupied, the car park is full and building works at Marina Village housing scheme are at full tilt.

When complete, the harbour will have been reoriented as an almost natural extension of Trafalgar Road towards the boardwalk that will run between the apartments and the marina towards Bray Head and the new public park.

The 200 apartments rising to three storeys are due to come on stream next year, and Sherry FitzGerald selling agent Ivan Gaine says there is already a waiting list in operation of prospective buyers for these. Not surprising given that they will benefit most from the sea views over the marina and pier.

The bulk of the houses, of which there will be 158 with about 90 completed by next year, will be located behind the apartment scheme. This is a detail worth bearing in mind for those viewing the showhouses this weekend and enjoying lovely vistas to the harbour.

The new homes themselves have been very nicely designed and finished. Granite clad and with foundations running 10 metres deep their coastal location has been factored in.

All are energy efficient A-rated with air source heat pump central heating. Double-glazed Scandinavian timber windows have been strategically placed to maximise views and light. The larger homes have balconies on the upper level accessed via sliding glass doors. These could make for a lovely master bedroom, or a second upstairs living room as interiors specialist Ventura Design has done to impressive effect in the Tuskar showhouse.

Wood-veneered walls and mirrored shelving are cosy additional touches. In fact Ventura’s interpretation in the showhomes is most seductive with a great colour palette, some discreet nautical references and clever mood lighting. It can be hard to remember sometimes that the swish decor doesn’t come as standard.

Variation

What does come as standard is substantial, though. All the homes have been fitted with Nolan and McNally kitchens so there’s a nice bit of variation between houses. Siemens appliances are included, including a wine fridge in the bigger homes (and we thought that day was gone). Bathrooms are finished with porcelain tiling and Villeroy and Boch sanitary ware.

There are also substantial luxury fitted wardrobes in all bedrooms. Gardens are paved and planted to the front, while rear gardens are levelled and seeded, with side gates. Gardens are not huge, but the argument goes that with the harbour out front, and a public park and playground to come five minutes away there’s plenty to compensate.

Located about 10 minutes walk from the main street and Dart station, and 45 minutes drive from St Stephen’s Green, Greystones Marina Village is bound to attract interest.

Greystones has seen little or no development in the past 10 years. Interest is likely to come from local downsizers if the recent run of houses for sale in the exclusive areas of the town is anything to go by. And similarly it is a compelling offering for those trading up given the amenities on the doorstep.

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