A Bray seafront apartment scheme, currently under construction, looks to be benefitting from a pandemic-driven shift away from city centre living. Strand View, a mid promenade scheme of 39 A3-rated apartments on the site of the former Cois Farraige Hotel launched quietly in July 2020 and already 13 of the units have sold off plan.
An A3-rated scheme with sweeping sea views from its east-facing front balconies is always going to have appeal, but the strong early pick up also reflects a distinct shift in apartment buyer appetite towards schemes that can deliver healthy living with good natural amenities close by.
The early interest in Strand View includes one buyer, who it’s understood locally has purchased four sea-facing units on the third floor, the one below penthouse level. Designed as four apartments the buyer plans to reconfigure the space into one private residence with some pretty impressive panoramic views.
For developer, McEleney Homes, this is by far its biggest scheme to date having until now primarily built on small infill sites around the capital. McEleney Homes got planning permission to build the four-storey development in 2018, but was refused an amendment to the permission the following year to add an additional floor containing 10 apartments. Singer and neighbour Sinead O’Connor was among the objectors to the additional floor.
Selling agent Coonan Homes declined to comment on recent sales in the block, but said prices for the remaining apartments at Strand View start from early €320,000 for a one-bedroom unit with a south facing balcony to the rear of the L-shaped building. Two bedroom units with sea views on the second floor will be from about €500,000.
Neighbouring Greystones has enjoyed coastal commuter retreat of choice status in recent times, but now Bray, closer to the city and with a far more regular Dart service, appears to be coming into its own with Wicklow county council upgrading much of the lovely original Victorian promenade.
While Strand View paves the way for seafront living, there may be more to come. Bray Head Hotel, once a favourite of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, is currently on the market through Lisney with full planning permission for 44 apartments and a pub/restaurant. On 1.1 acre it stands at the other end of the prom, marking the start of the Bray/Greystones cliff walk.