Victorian vision on Tivoli Road materialises without Power

Former children’s home in Dún Laoghaire now five luxury homes developed by Donohue


Eleven years after property developer Robin Power envisaged the conversion of The Cottage Home, a former childrens’ orphanage on Dún Laoghaire’s Tivoli Road, the scheme has been brought to fruition – but not by him.

Tivoli Place is a new development of five luxurious terraced houses of between 142sq m and 200sq m, each with private rear gardens. Judging by the showhouse, it’s one of the best period conversions to hit the market in recent times.

Five members of the Power family, Ronan, Robert, Robin, Michele and Ross Power, along with the Cork-based Canty family, purchased the site in 2005 for a reported €6 million through an investment vehicle, Kembara Properties, over which Duff & Phelps were appointed receiver in 2015. The site was subsequently marketed for sale through Sherry FitzGerald, who sold it for €3.15million – 48 per cent off its estimated 2005 sale price.

The buyer was Elmhill Homes, owned by Rathcoole-based businessman John Donohue, whose company Donohue Scaffolding was bought by Siteserv in 2006.

With Tivoli Place now well progressed, Donohue will have his eyes set on completing Robin Power’s other vision for the remainder of The Cottage Home site – being the construction of a new Victorian-style terrace that will complete Royal Terrace North, which currently comprises just one period home, Royal Terrace House, which was also owned by the Powers but sold in 2013 for just €1.1 million. Another home owned by Ross Power on the square is currently for sale for €1.6 million.

Robin Power became a major player in international property in decades past thanks to his then-listed Power Corporation, which owned trophy properties around the world, such as the Rhinelander Mansion in New York.

In the 1990s, he and his wife Michele (née Kavanagh) set their sights on prime residential properties on the south Dublin coast, assembling an impressive portfolio of properties stretching from Monkstown to Killiney – their own spectacular home on Sorrento Terrace probably being the most valuable. Some houses were bought, refurbished and sold for handsome profits, including Sunnyside and Hawk Cliff on Vico Road – both of which recently changed hands again for millions.

Sandycove is perhaps the heart of their portfolio, given that the couple has owned some of the area’s best seafront homes. On Marine Parade, their crown jewel is White Sails, built a decade ago on a site costing around €2 million, which has reportedly been rented out for up to €15,000 a month. They also own neighbouring Cove Lodge, Fastnet House and Ossory Lodge.

A number of the family’s properties on Sandycove’s seafront have hit the market in recent months. At Newtownsmith, The Power’s Seaview, 3 St Alban’s, along with the immaculately presented 1 Scotsman’s Close to the rear have been recently sold for a combined €3.2 million, while their 2 Scotsman’s Close is sale agreed with an asking price of €1.1 million. Duff & Phelps were receivers over the Scotsman’s Close properties. Elsewhere, On Monkstown’s seafront, the Powers’ property at 8 Clifton Terrace is for sale for €2.3 million.