What’s so good about it?
There's no arguing with North Strand's location. For a start, O'Connell and Henry Streets are less than a 20-minute walk away, while the IFSC, Docklands, Clontarf, Dollymount Strand and Fairview are all right beside the neighbourhood. Locals make mention of proximity to several spots, among them the Abbey and Gate theatres, St Anne's Park, the 3Arena, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, and the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. Fairview Park is also a great boon, and plans are afoot for Tea Rooms to be established there soon. D-Light Studios is another great new addition – an old warehouse hosting everything from yoga and community events to a vegetable co-op. Locals also cherish the Mud Island community garden, which is a glorious sight to behold during Halloween. In terms of other amenities, Lidl and Aldi are opposite each other on the East Wall Road, and hopes are high at that a large chain supermarket will also pitch up in the Point Village area soon. Aside from all that, North Strand boasts an inimitable pride of place and character. Not bad for an area that, according to a 1714 map of the area, was under the Irish Sea at high tide.
What’s not so good?
Like many inner-city neighbourhoods, there have been high-profile instances of crime and antisocial behaviour. It was reported earlier in the year that the North Inner City has the highest crime rate in the State, more than five times the national average. Yet residents will note that there’s more to the area than what the the newspapers might tell us. The financial services zone may have ushered in a new prosperity into the area, but many pockets of the North Strand could better benefit from the prosperity.
Where and what to buy?
The North Strand’s Victoria redbricks are no longer the bargains they once were, but still provide a great opportunity to invest and upgrade. This three-bed redbrick on 9 Ossory Road (€350,000, via GWD) has been extended and is located just off the North Strand Road. Elsewhere, this three-bed terraced house on First Avenue (€310,000, via Leonard Wilson Keenan) is located in a quiet cul-de-sac. At €355,000 this two -bed on Killarney Avenue retains many of its charming period features (via GWD).
Where and what to rent?
At the time of going to press, three-bedroom houses in the area were renting for about €2,300-2,400, while a one-bed apartment is in the region of about €1,300-1,500. A two-bedroom house on Spencer Street was recently snapped up at €1,995 a month.
Where to eat and drink?
Da Mimmo (148 North Strand Road) is arguably the jewel in North Strand's crown; the family-run restaurant was recently voted one the top 100 Italian restaurants in Europe. Almost opposite, the Cloud Café (43 North Strand Road) is extremely popular and serves tasty breakfasts, lunches, coffees and treats (keep an eye out, too for their regular Ethiopian supper clubs). The Lin Kee Chinese takeaway (75 North Strand Road) and Okayu, a Japanese/sushi takeaway (71 North Strand Road) are similarly popular. The famed Fairview Grill is not far away (25 Annesley Bridge Road), while any number of lunch options, catering to the influx of office workers, can be found closer to the docks. Cusack's (145 North Strand Road) is a great local, if a bit hectic on GAA match days. The Seabank House, after a brief closure following a fire (125 East Wall Road), is back and better than ever.
Who lives there?
True-blue Dublin families who have been in the area for years now live alongside what are known locally as “runner-ins” – a new wave of professionals and young families drawn to the community spirit and closeness to both the sea and the city centre. About 35 per cent of denizens are lone dwellers, 14 per cent are couples with children, 16 per cent are single parents and 15 per cent are couples without children, according to MyHome.ie research. About 36 per cent are aged between 16 and 34.
Good for families?
You won't be stuck for a school: choose from St Laurence O'Toole National School (Catholic, mixed) and St Joseph's primary school (Catholic, mixed) in the immediate area. Nearby, there's also St Vincent's primary school on North William Street (Catholic, girls), O'Connell's primary and secondary schools on North Circular Road (Catholic, boys), St Columba's primary school on the main North Strand Road (Anglican, mixed), St Mary's primary school in Fairview (Catholic, mixed until first class), and Gracepark Educate Together National School on the DCU campus of All Hallows Gracepark Road (multidenominational, mixed). Secondary schools in the area include St Joseph's in Marino (Catholic, mixed) and Mount Temple on the Malahide Road (Church Of Ireland, mixed).
Getting there and getting around
North Strand Road is one of the main arteries coming into the city centre from North Dublin so you won’t be long waiting for a bus (routes 53, 41X and 151 serve the area). You would rarely be waiting more than a few minutes for a bus which can either take you to the city centre or over to the south side of the city. Connolly Station and Clontarf Dart stations are both about a 15-minute walk away. The Luas will get you to the Jervis centre in under 10 minutes.
What do locals say?
"I bought our small Victorian terrace in 2003 and it was a fantastic city pad for a single girl. Sixteen years later I have acquired a husband and two children, and we have just finished an extensive renovation project to allow us to remain and grow in this fantastic area. There is a wonderful community spirit in North Strand and its surrounding areas and a great mix of people in terms of ages, backgrounds, culture. People look out for each other. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else!" Rebecca Keogh, designer
Next week: Make a Move to… Kilmainham
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