A Georgian building close to the National Gallery in Merrion Square in Dublin 2 has been sold for €485,000.
The property was bought by an overseas purchaser, who has yet to complete legal contracts, for around the same value as houses on the square made in the early 1990s.
The landmark four-storey over basement building at the junction of Merrion Square and Clare Street is in need of “total” refurbishment and upgrading, according to the selling agents.
The Irish Times reports that: “Despite the obvious need for structural repairs, the selling price will be seen as an exceptional example of how property values have collapsed over the last three years.”
The price is only marginally higher than the €450,000 currently being sought for a one-bed apartment a short distance away in a period house opposite Government Buildings.
Houses on Merrion Square – particularly those backing on to Fitzwilliam Lane – increased rapidly in value in the decade up to 2008 when they were eagerly sought as city offices and showrooms by successful business people.
In June, 2007 businessman Lochlainn Quinn, one of the owners of the Merrion Hotel opposite Government Buildings, set a record when he paid just under €9 million for the former FAI office building at 80 Merrion Square. Agent Finnegan Menton handled the sale of the 418sq m (4,500sq ft) Georgian building, which has an extensive garden at the rear running on to Fitzwilliam Lane.
Number 95 Merrion Square dates from the 1750s and has been owned for many years by the Dublin Apothecaries who under the 1858 Medical Act operated an examining and licensing system for the medical profession. In 1971 the Apothercaries’ Hall lost the right to issue licenses to practice medicine. Its records were transferred earlier this year to the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
The building has an overall floor area of over 337sq m (3,634sq ft) and, though the rooms are generally smaller than in many of the adjoining houses, it has a highly ornate formal reception room on the first floor. All floors were used as offices with the exception of the top floor which is laid out as an apartment.