Blackrock site has potential for 252 houses and apartments

Land bank of nearly 10 acres close to Blackrock village seeking €25m-plus

An exceptional land bank in the south Dublin suburb of Blackrock with scope to develop more than 250 top-end houses and apartments is expected to generate considerable interest among Irish and overseas property companies when it goes on the market from today.

Mark Johnston of WK Nowlan Real Estate Advisers will be inviting offers of more than €25 million for the 3.92-hectare (9.7-acre) complex off Temple Road. The site includes a large period house and disused school buildings owned by a religious order, the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

The sale comes at a time of intense competition between a number of high-profile companies for housing development opportunities, particularly in south Dublin.

Much of the recent large-scale activity has been concentrated on RTÉ’s sale of 8.64 acres of development land at Donnybrook. The selling price of €107.5 million announced on Tuesday – streets ahead of the €75 million guide – will strengthen the appeal of other development sites.


The Blackrock property is one of the last major undeveloped sites close to the village, and is to be sold by private treaty with a “best bids” deadline set for Friday, July 21st.

The site is about 350m southeast of Blackrock village, within four minutes’ drive of Dún Laoghaire harbour, and about seven minutes’ walk from Frascati Shopping Centre. It is 500m west of Seapoint Dart station, and 750m east of Blackrock Dart station.

The lands have extensive frontage on to Temple Road. They are bounded to the east by St Vincent’s Park residential scheme, to the west by the national office of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (built on land donated by the Daughters of Charity), and to the south by Rockfield public park.

Original Victorian

The centrepiece of the complex is the listed St Teresa’s House, a Victorian mansion dating from 1862 and standing two-storeys over basement with a five-bay facade and granite porch. The house was originally known as Craigmore House, and is likely to be converted into a number of distinctive apartments.

The new owner is also expected to demolish a range of vacant school buildings on site, dating mainly from the 1950s, which accommodated St Teresa’s school until its closure in 1988, when it was amalgamated with St Augustine’s School, Obelisk Park, Blackrock.

A feasibility study by O’Mahony Pike Architects suggests a potential for an overall development of 231,500sq m (almost 2.5 million sq ft), to include 252 apartments and houses and the conversion of St Teresa’s House. A gate lodge is also listed for preservation.

The entire Blackrock lands are zoned mainly “to protect and/or improve residential amenity” in the current Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Development Plan.

The lands originally formed part of the wealthy Rockfield Estate, which was leased in 1862 to a wealthy wine and spirit merchant Jonathan Hogg for 99 years. He built Craigmore House, and also sold 35 acres to George Orr Wilson, who built the Italian-style mansion Dunardagh, now the provincial house of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

The order of nuns purchased Craigmore House in 1925, and later renamed it St Teresa’s House.

Charity services

For the best part of a century, the Daughters of Charity based in the Blackrock convent provided services for people in need. These included a care home and school for orphaned boys, a residence and school for girls with intellectual disabilities, a similar home for adults, and a care facility coupled with a residential centre for people with Alzheimer’s.

The order will use money from the sale to support its various ministries in Ireland and Kenya. Over the past decade the sisters have provided €25 million in cash to support various services for people with intellectual disabilities in the Dublin area, including €16.1 million towards the renovation of St Vincent’s Centre on the Navan road.

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan

Jack Fagan is the former commercial-property editor of The Irish Times