It is entirely discombobulating to walk through the doors of Greenan, Avoca Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin, because in a split second you seem to have been transported from one of Blackrock’s priciest roads to the 1990s and a small hotel in the midlands.
There’s the hall that feels like a foyer with its busy wallpaper, hotel-type carpet, dark wood panelling and imposing staircase. To the left is a living room that opens into a dining room and on into a kitchen. To the right is a cavernous reception room with two sets of stairs – one to a wine cellar, another, a glass and chrome modern staircase, leads up to a vast floating mezzanine level whose purpose is unclear.
As well as windows to the front in this room, there’s a large internal window to the side and it looks onto the 10-metre swimming pool. It’s certainly unusual. This reception room opens through to another vast room that could easily be a dancehall with its dark wood floors and wall panelling and large bar in the corner. There’s also a shower room, toilets and a gym.
Upstairs there are five double bedrooms and multiple en-suites. The en-suite for the main bedroom is reached through a walk-in closet that is almost the size of another bedroom.
Outside there is good access to the north facing back garden from several rooms and to the front – Greenan is not set as far back from the road as many of its neighbours – there is enough parking for several cars.
Greenan was built in the mid-1990s by David McKenna who made his fortune in Marlborough Recruitment and who was one of taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s “dig-out” friends – a group of 12 businessmen who made payments totalling £38,500 to Mr Ahern.
The detached house first came up for sale in 2008 by auction with an AMV of €7.5 million. It didn’t sell and was put on the market by private treaty and after a few months Lisney says that an offer of just north of €6 million came in but was rejected. It has been a rental for a number of years and is being viewed unfurnished. In 2013 it came on the market again – through Allen & Jacob – with an asking price of €2.5 million, later reduced to €2.2 million, but still no sale. Lisney has now been instructed by KPMG to sell Greenan and the asking price is €2.25 million.
It seems a strong price for a house that has proven to be a difficult sell and needs not just a major decorative makeover but also a rethink in its layout, as well as something creative done to the exterior to improve its appearance. Although, given its location and the .45 acre site, it’s possible that a buyer might eye up the potential of the site rather than the house.