Think outside the commercial box for new city homes

Dalkey commercial unit has full permission for change of use to residential

With the lack of stock and rising houses prices, buyers may well have to think outside the box when it comes to finding a home. The number of second hand homes available for sale is now at its lowest level in more than a decade, and the closure of the construction sector for so long has brought the need for housing to critical levels, while applying upward pressure on prices.

The Station House on Sorrento Drive in Dalkey, a 139sq m (1,496sq ft) ground floor over basement commercial unit may well be a litmus test for the sign of things to come in the volatile residential market. The property comes to market with full permission for change of use to residential – and the addition of an upper floor to give it 178sq m (1,916sq ft) in total.

The property with a BER of C3 "was designed to take an extra floor when (architect) Michael McShane built it" according to agent Nick Crawford who is handling the sale. As it stands the building is on two levels: an open ground floor measuring 61sq m (656sq ft) – which has lots of light thanks to full height glazing at the entrance – and a 78sq m (839sq ft) semi- basement.

The new design by architect Roger Hofler, which was granted permission in late February 2021, would see the basement become a home office, utility, games room and storage, with two bedrooms at ground level and a kitchen, dining and living room with a balcony on the new upper floor. Lighting is addressed by new roof lights and the new part of the building would have contemporary zinc cladding. There is currently parking to the front of the property, which is located behind Photogenic, between Finnegan's Pub and the Dart station.

Seeking €750,000, Crawford says that “the vendor will absorb the VAT and it is highly unlikely that the property would be purchased as a commercial entity” given the current climate.

He estimates it needs a further €100,000-€200,000, depending on fit out, to bring Hofler’s plans to fruition. With the change of use and new design permissions already granted – all a buyer needs to do is find a builder and they could be in for Christmas.