Section 23s around the corner from Smithfield


Dublin 7 from €350,000:Striking design, tax breaks and a central location mark Smithfield Lofts out as an appealing investor opportunity, writes Bernice Harrison.

This smart looking building has been a bit of a puzzle for the past few years. It is situated in the city centre on a landmark site on the corner of Dublin's Church Street and North King Street. Striking design by Grafton Architects marks it out as one of the more well-thought out, visually appealing apartment schemes.

Its floor-to-ceiling windows and exterior sliding timber shutters are particularly attractive looking.

However, although it was built in 2001, it lay vacant for some years before some of the apartments were rented out.

Now the building's owner, Liam Carroll, has entirely refurbished the interior and exterior of the building, installing new kitchens, bathrooms, and so on, into the 58 apartments.

Prices range from €350,000 for one-bedroom apartments of 41sq m (440sq ft), to €435,000 for the two-bedroom apartments, which are mainly 65sq m (700sq ft). There is no car-parking.

This is a Section 23 development so it should prove of particular interest to investors.

Owners usually have to hold on to a property for 10 years to fully benefit from this tax break. However, as this building is six years old, they will only have to keep the apartment for four years, according to the sales agent Hooke & MacDonald.

The building, once called a more modest 1 North King Street, is now known as Smithfield Lofts - but the name is on the fanciful side as the apartments are not, by any stretch of the imagination, lofts.

They are very ordinary one and two-bedroom apartments, with a fit out spec that seems tailored for the investment market. Apartment buyers who are owner-occupiers these days tend to demand an all-round higher spec, more storage and utility space than is on offer here. There is no natural gas in the building so the heating and cooking are electric.

The apartments facing into the inner courtyard have good-sized balconies. As the location is smack bang in town, renting should be easy.

There are retail and office spaces at the ground floor and there are townhouses in the courtyard which are not ready for sale yet. Both a one and a two-bedroom show apartment are on view from today.