Rathgar Home’s Tennis Court Offers Scope to Develop

In recent years there has been a changing of the guard on Grosvenor Road in Rathgar, south Dublin, as students and young workers moved out to make way for wealthy families. Members of the New Guard have converted many of the great Victorian homes from beds to single-family homes. Not all houses had to be reconfigured. The same Rathmore family has owned for 56 years at 19 Grosvenor Road, an imposing, double-faced red-brick detached house on the west side of the street.

The family, who ran and lived above a well-known pub in the village of Rathgar, bought the property in 1964 for £ 6,000 IR (€ 7,600). At that point there were nine of them with seven children under the age of five. In the mid-1970s, the matriarch had given birth to five more children.

In Rathmore they had room to move. Built in the late 1840s, the three bay house had five bedrooms and was half an acre.

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The owners designed the garden and added a terrace around the pool

The body of the house is still pretty much as it was then. It is accessed via granite steps with a storm porch and has a large entrance hall with oversized reception rooms on either side.

The four bedrooms on the first floor are enormous doubles. A rear bedroom overlooks the Ashbrook Lawn Tennis Club, which takes up the gardens at number 20 next door. Another double bedroom is on the first floor and has a dressing room. Notably, there is only one bathroom in the entire house – up front on the first floor. “We were always satisfied with just one bathroom,” says one daughter, who remembers sharing the bedroom upstairs with her three siblings.

Of course, changes have been made over the years. A new roof was installed about 20 years ago. The sash windows have been well maintained. One of the more significant changes was the opening of the living room and kitchen to the right of the hallway. A few steps lead from the living room with bay window to the kitchen with quarry tile floor.

“The Aga was always on, so there was a cup of tea all the time. My mother and father were very religious and they held masses in the living room. They had a lot of friends who were priests and nuns who they would gather us to say Dimensions. “

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One of the oversized reception rooms

The decorative cornice, ceiling roses, and shutters are still intact and there are some decorative fireplaces throughout the house.

In 1992, the parents, who have both died in the meantime, applied for a building permit for a winter garden, a swimming pool, a playroom and a shower room at the back, increasing the floor area of ​​the house to just under 415 m².

The owners designed the garden and added a terrace around the pool. “When we were growing up there was an above-ground swimming pool in the garden. All of our friends and cousins ​​came over to swim in it during the summer. My parents wanted to set up the new swimming pool for the grandchildren – they wanted them. The garden faces southwest So if the sun shines at all, the place is like Marbella. “

By this point, they already had a floodlit tennis court in the back of the country so they didn’t have to watch the Ashbrook games. “We used the tennis courts too. We watched Wimbledon and ran out to hit the ball. It was great. There were so many of us that there was always someone to play with.”

The property has planning permission for four houses on the tennis court

The family’s patriarch died 11 years ago, and the mother died in 2018, so # 19 is now for sale. The sales agent Bobby Geraghty from Hunters Estate Agent is looking for 4.35 million euros. The price may seem steep, but buyers will buy more than one house in half an acre in the city: It comes with an even rarer commodity – the building permit for four houses on the tennis court.

After the shelves planned to renovate the house – and add a couple of bathrooms of their own – in preparation for the sale, the family brought in Barry Kane of ODKM Architects to see what could be done with the land.

A CGI impression of the four houses on the property that were approved by the planners

It was better use of her money. Formed to make the most of small lots, Kane designed a quartet of three-story basement houses for the lot. The houses, which will be accessible from Bushes Lane, will be 262 square meters with three bedrooms. The location means that there are few outward-facing windows, so Kane designed terraces on each level. There will be communal parking for four cars and space for eight bicycles.

The planning application received 28 objections when it was submitted to Dublin City Council. Residents and the tennis club complained about the height of the houses, but the program was approved in February. An appeal against the decision went to An Bord Pleanala, but permission was granted last month. The inspector said the proposed development would “provide a high quality template for development in the region”.

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A few steps lead from the living room with bay window to the kitchen with quarry tile floor

Says Kane, “We were trying to maximize the site potential you need in any urban property these days. It would have been lazy to design it so that you would put two houses on the site. We wanted to go.” Furthermore. “

Despite the concerns of neighbors, this is a positive example of how unused land in the city can be used. Grosvenor Road is about a 15 minute drive from Dublin city center and a short walk from the villages of Rathmines and Rathgar.

The house has a large entrance hall with oversized reception rooms on either side

Geraghty had his first viewings of the house on Friday and said potential buyers were already interested. There are several options for them; A developer could come in and modernize the house, pull up the carpets and add a modern kitchen and extra bathrooms, then sell it and build the new houses backwards. Developer Richmond Homes has done similar projects with large homes in Foxrock.

Alternatively, a wealthy buyer could invest in building the houses and then get back some of the cost of the profits from the sale. Such was the case with the seller of 60 and 61 Garville Lane in Rathgar, which were featured in Move in March. Both houses have since gone on sale.

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The playroom was added in 1992

“There’s a great opportunity for someone to construct something absolutely beautiful, different, and whimsical,” says Kane.

Another scenario is that those who fall in love with the house and the location keep the house and sell the land to developers. Even when the tennis court is gone, the back garden is quite large. The large terrace, the swimming pool and the sheltered lawn create an oasis in the city.

Even when the tennis court is gone, the back garden is quite large

With No. 19 waiting for new owners, the family is pragmatic about the sale. “I thought I was heartbroken and would let go of it, but it’s time to move on. Mom and Dad are gone; this has been their life, their world, and the fruits of their labor. It’s a beautiful home and we never will . ” have something like that again. “



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