Famed restaurant goes up for sale

Famed restaurant goes up for sale


THE former Lovetts’ Restaurant in Cork City’s suburbs is back for sale as a development opportunity with planning for 19 units: it is priced at €500,000 with Savills agents, Isobel O’Regan and Sam Daunt.

The property, known as Ballinlough House, was one of the city’s top restaurants, trading for 30 years before it was sold and closed in 2006, in a deal reportedly worth around €4m, when bought by Lanes Homes, who planned 33 apartments on the site.

The building was subsequently listed, and, after several applications and an appeal to An Bord Pleanala, planning was granted in 2009 for 19 units, on a 0.24-ha site. Several of the units would be within the protected structure.

At €500,000, the agents are pitching it at a slowly re-emerging house-building sector, with observers like DTZ’s Frank Ryan saying there was a viable construction market for new homes in the city’s older suburbs — such as Douglas, Blackrock, and Ballinlough — and Ballinlough House is within that nexus. Last weekend, we reported the individual sales bookings of ten house sites at Maryborough Hill, with full planning for large detached houses: they made between €265,000 and €300,000 per site, for houses likely to cost an average of €650,000.

The Lovetts/Ballinlough House site is likely to get a fresh planning application, for a lower density of homes — ie, fewer apartments, more family-friendly homes.

“We see the site being developed for commercial and residential, subject to planning,” says Savills Sam Daunt. The current, 2009 planning was for restoration, extension and change-of-use of the former restaurant and associated apartment to include a new, three-storey block. The property retains its commercial use.

The house has many of its Georgian features, in a private and largely walled setting between Douglas and the rapidly evolving Mahon suburbs, with hundreds of medical and office jobs locating there at present, including new arrivals and planned relocation from the city centre.

Savills’ Ms O’Regan says the re-launch of the property/site “represents a tremendous opportunity to acquire a significant landmark building in a mature, residential suburb of the city. These opportunities are limited”.

Details: Savills, 021-4271371.

Source: Irish Examiner

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