Taking a diamond in the rough, giving it a cut and polish and flogging it on for a profit may seem an ideal way to make a quick buck, but for period listed buildings it is not that simple.
Number 20 Upper Clanbrassil Street was purchased by Michael Mangan and Dominic Cross in 2012 for €205,000. It was in a state of disrepair. "The basement was completely uninhabitable and remedial works carried out over previous decades had patched things up but allowed water to leak in throughout, which rotted many of the oak beams. Everything needed to be replaced and getting planning permission took more than nine months," says Mangan.
Mangan and Cross, both of whom have worked for more than 25 years in property conservation, engaged conservation architect Peter O' Shaughnessy and general architect Jason P Mooney to work within the parameters set out by Dublin City Council to restore the listed building.
The result after two years’ toil is a 196sq m (2,109sq ft) two-storey over-garden house in turnkey condition with the added bonus of off-street parking behind electronic gates. The house has been sympathetically restored with new sash windows framed by restored shutters and as all ceiling roses were rotten, the duo had exact replicas made to maintain the building’s integrity.
With three bedrooms on the upper floor and one on the return, the house boasts two interconnecting reception rooms on the ground floor which are remarkably quiet given the location on busy Clanbrassil Street. At garden level, a traditional kitchen painted in pale sage feeds into a living/dining area which houses a large fireplace just waiting for a roaring fire, and has access to both rear and front gardens.
Clanbrassil Street with its mixture of pre ’63 flats, new apartment blocks and period houses, is a desirable location due to its proximity to the city centre, and recently sale prices have been creeping up. No 39 The Warehouse, a 204sq m (2,200sq ft) penthouse sold for €785,000 in July and Numbers 58 and 59, both period houses with 111sq m (1195sq ft) of living space also sold this year, for €510,000 and €515,000 respectively.
Mangan and Cross now have another diamond in the rough awaiting restoration. Their house is on the market through estate agent Beirne & Wise with an asking price of €775,000.