Landmark on Orwell Road converted into luxury apartments

Five large units in a former hotel, converted just before the crash, have finally hit the market

Thu, Jun 12, 2014, 00:00

The location of the old Orwell Lodge Hotel, on the corner of Orwell Park and Orwell Road, made it something of a landmark and locals have always taken a keen interest in its fate, particularly since it became a development site about 10 years ago. The Savills “For Sale” sign that went up this week, on behalf of the receivers, KPMG, will finally put an end to what has been a long-running saga which has seen the building, now a small apartment block with five apartments, look progressively more abandoned as time went on.

In the past few weeks, however, the site has become busy again as landscapers, decorators and builders were taken on to complete the apartments, both internally and externally. They range in price from €450,000 to €700,000.

Unlucky timing

The developers were unlucky in their timing. By 2007, when two upmarket, high-spec houses on the site were ready for sale, each asking €3.5 million, the market had collapsed. Savills has recently gone sale agreed on one of these houses for around €1.35 million. The sale of the apartments was similarly unfortunate in terms of timing.

With just five apartments, Orwell Lodge is a very small development. The apartments are large – they range from 77.2sq m (831sq ft) to 165sq m (1,785sq ft) and that, as well as it’s accessibility (there’s a lift), will make it appealing to downsizers.

Period atmosphere

The first-floor apartments and the penthouse have high ceilings and period features and have the atmosphere of a period house conversion, indeed the fact that the planners insisted that “cornices, ceiling mouldings, etc shall be protected during the course of refurbishment” is what makes these apartments particularly attractive. In the penthouse, the enormous dome rooflight, a stunning Victorian-era feature, surrounded by decorative plasterwork, is one of the most unusual features you’ll find in any Dublin apartment.

All the apartments have two bedrooms. There are two apartments each on the ground and first floor while the top is a single penthouse. The ground-floor apartments have gardens, the first-floor apartments have terraces. All are now finished to include high-gloss integrated fitted kitchens, marble fireplaces, fitted wardrobes, and high-spec bathrooms and en suites.

It’s unusual for ground-floor apartments to carry a premium in a block but these two do. One has 125sq m (1,353sq ft) and a decent-sized town garden as well as two parking spaces and it is on sale for €600,000; the other, at €575,000, has a less private garden and one parking space. On the first floor, both apartments have small terraces, one has 80.7sq m (869sq ft), and one parking space and is €450,000; the other first-floor option has 77.2sq m (831sq ft), a south-west facing terrace, one parking space and an asking price of €475,000.

Period plasterwork

The penthouse for €700,000 and with 165sq m (1,785sq ft) is luxurious, with period plasterwork (including that dome rooflight), a marble fireplace in the livingroom, two very large double bedrooms, each with an en suite, while the main bedroom also has a dressingroom, and there’s a family bathroom. Unusually in an apartment, there is a separate eat-in kitchen, a utility room and a small home office. The downside is that the penthouse has no terrace or outdoor space of any kind. It has two car park spaces.

One thing Orwell Lodge is missing is a suitably grand entrance. The exterior to the front looks slightly odd, with two sets of French doors – they belong to the ground floor apartments – on either side of the uninspiring looking front door.

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