Anyone who’s been to Nyhavn, the 17th-century waterfront district in Copenhagen, will recall its memorably tall and colourful homes. There are echoes of this early example of Danish design in Cherry Lane, a development in the verdant south Co Dublin suburb of Cherrywood that has been a talking point for about 15 years.
While the area still resembles a vast building site, all its infrastructure is now in place and a sense of place is beginning to take shape. Some €55 million worth of roads have been laid, traffic lights erected and schools are in progress, says Michael Hynes, executive director and joint managing partner at Quintain Ireland, the housebuilder behind the development.
Quintain is owned by US private equity giant Lone Star, and in 2019 purchased 118 acres in the middle of the Cherrywood strategic development zone in a deal worth more than €120 million.
“We had an opportunity to do something a little different, and we’re finally opening the gates,” he says of the first 26 homes, the debut phase being launched today which has show houses overlooking Tully Park, a 22-acre space already gorgeously landscaped by Murray & Associates. This is no mean feat, given that the housebuilder lost about six months’ build time to Covid lockdowns.
The execution is impressive. The houses are wider and taller than many typical new homes and are surrounded by some 27 acres of parkland. There’s the aforementioned Tully Park, literally across the road, and a further five acres at Beckett Park, a short walk where there are training facilities and tennis courts.
Sports fans and outdoor types will also like that Cherry Lane is just across the road from the playing fields of Ticknick Park, a third green jewel that is linked to the other two parks by cycle lanes and walkways. Beyond are the hiking and mountain biking trails of the Wicklow foothills.
The housebuilder will construct 130 houses and duplexes at Cherry Lane but in total will develop some 1,300 homes in the new suburb.
It employed London-based architectural practices Fletcher Priest to masterplan the site. Highly regarded Dublin firm O’Mahony Pike has also been brought onboard to design some of the homes, but it is the multi-build minnow Urban Agency that is responsible for the colourful constructions at Cherry Lane.
The tall, timber-framed homes are built in terraces of four, with each unit delineated by the use of a different brick to create a colour block effect that graduates from terracotta red through soft red to buff yellow and grey, with matching renders to the rear.
What’s on offer at launch is a mix of three- and four-bedroom three-storey units with show houses demonstrating their layouts, and a selection of two-bedroom homes, mainly two-storey, that are being sold off plans. Completion dates are for early 2023.
“We went to great lengths to get the spec right,” says Vivian Marques, sales and marketing manager at Quintain.
Points of note include ceiling heights of over 2.8 metres across all three floors and windows that take up about 75 per cent of the exterior walls, flooding the separate kitchen and living rooms in light. The extra headroom really comes into its own at second-floor level where the main bedroom is located. It is particularly notable in the three-beds where you have a dual aspect space with a bedroom to the front leading through a dressing area cum workstation into a shower ensuite.
The developer and agent worked collaboratively to fine-tune the flow of the layouts but it is only when you get on site that you can hone the paper exercise, says Colm Byrne, a director of new homes at selling agent SherryFitzGerald.
In the four-bedroom house, for example, they claimed back several additional square metres in the main bedroom, volume that had been hidden behind the plasterboard, his director colleague Marguerite Boyle adds.
The mid-terrace three-beds are sizeable, ranging from 113sq m to 128sq m (1,214sq ft to 1,378sq ft). Prices start from €635,000.
The four-bedroom units, mainly end-terrace, range from 145sq m to 160sq m (1,558sq ft to 1,719sq ft), with prices from €740,000.
Interior designer Sara Cosgrove of Grove & Co uses soft textures throughout; a wallpaper in the living room is echoed in the kitchen internals, for example. The kitchen, designed by Cosgrove and fabricated by BeSpace, includes ribbed cabinet doors, stone countertops and a Neff appliance package.
The homes comes with a home security system by Smartzone to which you can add an energy meter to keep an eye on consumption levels – but the homes are already A2 Ber rated. An EV charging station is part of the standard four-bedroom home package, with the other units wired for its installation.
The two-bedroom, two-bathroom houses measure 87sq m (936 sq ft) and have been designed on the basis that buyers could generate an income from renting out the second room, says Helena Hayes, director of sales and marketing at the housebuilder. These start at €555,000.
The houses are 500m from the Laughanstown stop on the Green Luas line, which is one of three stops within the greater Cherrywood area.