Blackrock College site seeks offers in excess of €20m

Cross Avenue site has scope to accommodate scheme of 154 apartments

An aerial view of the Cross Avenue site. The property is immediately adjacent to Blackrock College.

An aerial view of the Cross Avenue site. The property is immediately adjacent to Blackrock College.


The sale of a prime residential site immediately adjoining Blackrock College in Dublin is expected to see intense competition among developers engaged in the delivery of high-end homes to the owner-occupier and private rented sector.

Located on Cross Avenue, a road acknowledged as one of south Dublin’s most sought-after addresses, the property has been brought to the market on behalf of the order responsible for Blackrock College, the Holy Ghost or Spiritan congregation. The agents handling the sale, GVA Donal O’Buachalla, are seeking offers in excess of €20 million for the property.

The site comprises 1.21 hectares (three acres) and includes two residential properties, Tower Green and Clareville with extensive frontage (158m) on to Cross Avenue, close to its junction with Mount Merrion Avenue. The property is located just 7.5km southeast of Dublin city centre.


Quite apart from its location immediately next to Blackrock College and Dominican College Sion Hill, the site is within close proximity to a range of other primary and secondary schools, including Willow Park School, Carysfort National School, and St Andrew’s College. In terms of third-level institutions, both UCD and the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School are located within a 10-minute drive in either direction. Blackrock Clinic is also close to the subject property.

Cross Avenue falls within an area zoned “objective A” in the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Development Plan 2016-2022. The objective for this particular zoning is to “to protect and or improve residential amenity” and, guided by the objectives of the plan and current town planning policy, MOLA Architecture have prepared a site capacity/feasibility study indicating the site’s potential for a high-end residential development scheme. The site feasibility study examines the potential for two development options for the site – 121 units in build-to-sell (BTS) and 154 units in build-to-rent (BTR) layouts.

Roger Keogh and Con Cronin of GVA Donal O’Buachalla say: “This is a rare development opportunity and we are expecting the highest level of interest from developers given the strong demand for residential property in prime Dublin locations and the scarcity of premium development opportunities in a location such as Cross Avenue, Blackrock.”

The outcome of the sale and the price achieved for the property is likely to be watched closely by Cairn Homes and developer Myles Crofton, both of whom have plans for the development of apartment schemes on the respective grounds of two Cross Avenue houses.

In the case of Cairn Homes, An Bord Pleanála recently granted the company planning permission to develop 214 apartments and seven houses on the site of Chesterfield House.

Planning application

Mr Crofton, for his part, has lodged a planning application seeking to replace his home, Renesca, with a five-storey apartment block fronting on to Cross Avenue, comprising nine one-bed, 19 two-bed and five three-bed units, above a basement car park with 37 spaces.

Commenting on the Spiritans’ decision to sell the Cross Avenue lands, a spokesman for the congregation said it was “part of a necessary overall rationalisation of property”.

Members of the Spiritan Blackrock community, who live in a residence on the site, will move to other Spiritan residences, while the funds raised from the sale will be used to support the charitable work of the order, and to reduce debt within the province.

Outside of their establishment of, and ongoing involvement with Blackrock College, the Spiritans or Holy Ghost congregation are responsible for St Michael’s College on Merrion Road and Rockwell College in Tipperary. The order also founded St Mary’s College in Rathmines and Templeogue College in Dublin.