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Long-awaited Neptune House homes on market from €975,000

After years of planning stalls at historic Blackrock site, properties appear to be worth wait

Neptune House 1
975,000 Neptune House, Temple Crescent, Blackrock, Co Dublin Agent: Sherry FitzGerald
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After many planning stalls the new homes in the grounds of Neptune House, a landmark Georgian villa in Blackrock, secreted off the Monkstown Road on Temple Crescent, finally come to market. Local interest has been huge, according to Greg Coffey of agents Sherry FitzGerald with six already sold off-market.

When complete the low-density estate covering one hectare (2.4 acres) will comprise 13 houses, 12 of which are three-storey, four-bedroom homes. Excluding the showhouse, which has been fitted out by House and Garden Furnishings, there are five houses launching today.

The house was built in 1767 and became the home of John Scott, the first Earl of Clonmel, a barrister, MP and lord chief justice of Ireland who was also known as “Copperfaced Jack” because of his ruddy complexion. The house was occupied by British troops in 1916 after they landed in Dún Laoghaire before taking on the Irish rebels in the Easter Rising.

From the 1930s until the 1980s it was owned by St Patrick’s Guild and run by the Sisters of Charity, and was known as St Patrick’s Infants Hospital, Temple Hill. From here hundreds of children were sent to the US for adoption, without their parents’ knowledge or consent.

Secret meetings

In the late 1980s the house was purported to have been used by Sinn Féin and the Irish government for secret meetings in the lead up to the peace talks.

Founder of Atlantic Philanthropies, Chuck Feeney then acquired the house and rented it to Trinity College for a peppercorn rent to use it as student accommodation.

In 2000, developer Bernard McNamara bought the house for €8 million from the US billionaire. He was later refused planning for the five blocks of student accommodation he wanted to build on the site.

In March 2013, the property came up for sale for €2.5 million and appeared sold on the Property Price Register for €1.1 million in January 2014 – unlikely to be the full price paid. Most likely it represents just the price of the house and some element of the overall site, with the remainder of the grounds sold as a site, therefore not appearing in the residential property price register.

In 2015, Crosswaithe Developments, a subsidiary of New Generation Homes amended a 2014 planning application to turn the Georgian house into four luxury apartments and to build a series of luxury homes on the surrounding lands.

At some point in 2015 the Newry-based McGreevy family of Bushnell Investments purchased the site from Crosswaithe. The developers have form in this type of tandem build of both new homes and the restoration of an original period house.

Mid-refurbishment

Last November it sold Riversdale, a small scheme of houses set on a bend in the river Dodder in the grounds of Riversdale House, off Butterfield Avenue, Rathfarnham, the last house where poet WB Yeats resided before his death. The house was mid-refurbishment at that time. Other recent Bushnell developments include Blackberry Hill in Carrickmines and Carrig Mill in Greystones.

Ferreira Architecture, who did Albany House in Ballybrack for Cairn, and La Touche, Greystones, and St Mary’s, Baldoyle, for New Generation Homes, designed Riversdale and has been brought on board for the Blackrock scheme.

The apartments are still a work in progress but a sneak preview shows promise that the four units will be exciting spaces within very fine restored period features.

The new homes have been worth the wait. The A-rated properties feature a heat exchange system, Carlson windows, granite sills and powder-coated aluminium fascia and matching drainpipes.

Inside the ceiling heights are 2.7m. The tiled hall is standard with the same tiling leading through to a large open-plan kitchen-living-diningroom to the rear. Housed in the hand-painted units by local fabricator FitzGerald Kitchens in Monkstown are Siemens appliances, a Hotpoint fridge-freezer and an under-counter wine fridge.

The formal sitting room to the front is square in shape, echoing the Georgian proportions of the original house, has a warm lit coffered ceiling and a wood-burning stove. Each house measures 157sq m/1960sq ft in size.

The bathrooms are roomy with tactile bullnose edging. The sanitary ware has been supplied by House of Tiles and includes a smart LED strip-lit niche over the bath.

Prices for the four-bedroom semis start from €975,000 through agent Sherry FitzGerald.