It’s show time in Mount Merrion where developer Oakmount is selling the first 12 units from its Pinnacle apartment scheme off the plans.
This first phase will comprise 48 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses with additional apartments planned for the adjoining Union Café site.
The Deerpark Road scheme, designed by FKL and Box architects, is on the site of the now-demolished Stella cinema, a landmark mid-century deco building. It was designed by the architect RH Dowling and built for the O’Grady family, who also owned the sister Stella cinema in Rathmines.
The circle of life saw that latter cinema reopened in 2017 with lights, camera and action fanfare by the Press Up Group – aka Paddy McKillen jnr and Matt Ryan – which has built up a stable of pubs, restaurants and hotels over more than a decade.
It is the pair’s development company Oakmount that purchased this premier 0.84 acre south Co Dublin site in 2018 for about €7 million.
The Deerpark cinema opened to great fanfare in 1955, showing the circus drama Ring of Fire, but its projector faded to black for the last time in 1976. It then became a furniture store and auction house while retaining many of the original features such as the ticket office.
The new-build is clad in Jura limestone and render, its stepped exterior punctuated by Malaysian hardwood privacy screens that divide the glass-balustraded balconies.
It fits well into the mature locality. Extending to just three storeys on the Deerpark Road side it rises to five storeys as it backs on to Wilson Road. Still in situ for now are Union Café and Kennedy’s public house where a smorgasbord of food trucks can supply you with a delectable menu from the Press Up group’s string of eateries.
The site is still under construction and shrouded by scaffolding so for now there is no show unit to visit. Instead a marketing suite has been set up across the road in a former fruit and veg shop where you can see examples of the fit-out, designed by Bushell Interiors. These include espresso-coloured German designed Allmilmo kitchens with polished arabescato marble worktops, splashbacks and island breakfast bars.
Similarly, sleek Italian Zalf wardrobes are part of the bedroom package and the marble-clad bathrooms have fashionable matte black hardware and frameless glass shower stalls.
The scheme has attracted lots of local attention with planning updates relayed to readers via the local residents’ association website, along with every other planning application in the area.
And while this might seem like prime Ross O’Carroll Kelly territory,this select slice of SoCoDu – originally designed as a dormitory suburb – is pretty self-contained.
While each unit comes to market with one parking space it is possible to have your hair done, seek medical attention, eat out at cafes or food trucks, watch the game in the neighbourhood bar, a walk in the park and do the weekly shop, all without ever having to get into a car. The whole set-up is a good example of the 15-minute city, designed decades before the idea became a planning buzzword.
Phase two will see Union Café and Kennedy’s bar close temporarily but reopen as integral parts of a later phase.
These days the place feels anything but sleepy, with locals hoping to trade down from the surrounding Kenny-built homes popping into the shop to see what’s on offer. But people with kids of schoolgoing age may also be tempted, for the location is within walking and safe cycling distance of several schools. So far six have been quietly sale agreed through selling agents Knight Frank.
This first phase comprises nine two-bedroom apartments, two three-bedroom apartments and one three-bedroom penthouse.
Of the two-beds, those on the first floor range in size from 81sq m (872sq ft) to 96sq m (1,033sq ft) and in price from €760,000 to €810,000. Up a level, all homes boast stellar sea views.
Prices for the 81 to 83sq m homes here are from €835,000 while on the third floor the two-beds range in price from €875,000 to €965,000 and measure from 78 to 97sq m (840 to 1,044sq ft). Two-beds on the fourth floor are from 78 to 82sq m (840 to 883sq ft) in size with prices from €920,000 to €940,000.
The three-bedroom apartments are located on the second and third floors. Extending to 107sq m (1,152sq ft), each is asking €995,000.
The cherry on top is the blockbuster three-bedroom penthouse on the fifth floor, from where there are compelling vistas across the city from the sea to the mountains. Extending to 157sq m (1,690sq ft), this unit is seeking €1.8 million.
All have Raynaers aluminium double-glazed windows and some are dual aspect, giving both east and western light. In addition to sizeable footprints these units come to market with additional storage in the basement.
At ground level there will be four small retail units as well as some accommodation with common green spaces, one east-facing the other west-facing.