WIW: 2 Shrewsbury Road, Belgium Embassy, Ballsbridge, D4

There were some rumours of a major Shrewsbury Road house selling a few weeks ago (same time as Milverton)
Keen eyes of D4 will have noticed the ‘SOLD’ sign over the ‘TO LET’ sign of the Belgium Embassy

Property register now has it - Belgium Embassy (2 Shrewsbury Road)
Must be close to 1 acre in grounds (at least +3/4)
Must also be +6000 sq ft in size ?
Similar pricing to 1 & 3 Shrewsbury Road which sold a while back (1 acre in totla and +6,000 sq ft of property)
The Belgium Embassy is a better ‘red brick’ look but obviously cannot be split in two !
They are both close to the Merrion Road

16/10/2013 €4,650,000.00 Shrewsbury House, 2 Shrewsbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

Had it confirmed that it was sold to an International buyer who has bought a few other D4 trophy homes
Plan is to do them up and sell to the locals (when they get richer :angry: )

Did they grow up on Ailesbury Road ?

Site is about 0.893 acres, not sure about the size of the house but I imagine it could be 6000sqft+.

One of the most impressive houses on Dublin’s finest roads, so no surprise that it made big money. Actually surprised it didn’t make significantly more, however we don’t know whether there was some other terms or trades involved.

The house is a bit weird as I don’t think it has been for sale in even the last century and the Belgians have been there for 80 years, if not longer. I read a couple of years ago that the house was only rented by the Belgians - which would be very strange given how long they have been there. They were intending on constructing four further buildings on the c. 2 acre grounds of the Belgian Ambassador’s Residence, 44-46 Ailesbury Road, to relocate operations from Shrewsbury Road. The existing house is c. 9300sqft and the new structures were to be about 6910sqft in total but they never proceeded with these plans.

2 Shrewsbury Road, or Shrewsbury House as it is known, will be an interesting one to watch. If recent nearby refurbs such as the one at Woodside, Shrewsbury Road, are anything to judge by then it will be magnificent. It is currently very overlooked on the Merrion Road side with practically no planting and this detracts from its privacy, however I imagine the new owner will have the sense to rectify this. The house itself is presumably pretty awful and will need a serious amount of money to turn it into a top-class family home.

Just over 5m an acre with the period structure thrown in on the best road in Dublin. The French Embassy has just gone for less. I believe that 2 Shrewsbury closed in days so it is quite a recent transaction. I wonder how much money there really is at the upper end?

Boot manufacturer and leather merchant Ralph Smalley lived there in 1911.

Oddly, can’t find Shrewsbury Road in the 1901 census - anybody have an ideas if it was spelled differently or went by another name?

Shrewsbury road was developed in the early 20th century - hence no entry in 1901 census

Thanks! I would have thought late C19th…

Hard to believe 2 Shrewsbury and 36 Ailesbury (both on almost one acre) have gone for similar prices to Milverton and 23 Temple Gardens at almost the same times.

I think that 23 Temple Gardens was very poor value by any measure, but even Milverton looked too expensive on this basis.

Flipped for €6.5m 10 months later.

Wow! That is some quick turn.

Owen Killian is taking a lot of heat this week about Shrewsbury House and the lavishness of his under-construction plans in light of the poor performance of Aryzta. If everything was going well, the plans would barely be mentioned (got a few brief mentions in the IT originally), but when things are going wrong, being associated with a project like this is seriously negative. Serious business people such as him usually hate being associated with luxurious follies such as this house. I wonder if he would sell it tomorrow if given an offer of €6.5m+. Granted, he’s probably sunk an awful amount into it already in terms of plans, site prep and demolition (there has been very little constructed so far), but it seems like the timing is awful and he’d do well to be rid of it.

It is amazing just how much demolition Owen has been allowed to do on 2 Shrewsbury Road. There are people in Killiney / Dalkey sweating over really small things with planners, but in 2 Shrewsbury Road, they have demolished most of the period house ?

The key phrase in the company’s recent disclosure regarding Owen’s 16m share sale was “collateral”.

If you are a company CEO/CFO with shares (or have a liquid share portfolio), you can get financing at a cost of about 1-1.5% per annum for up to 70-80% of the face value of the shares. The quid-pro-quo is that these facilities can be withdrawn with less than 3 months notice (i.e. they are not mortgages, but more like rolling short-term loans - 2007 deja vu), AND that when the “collateral” (i.e. shares) drops below a certain level, the bank has the right to automatically sell the shares itself in open market.

You can get these loans from any major private banking type operation (Goldman, Barclays, Deutsche, Bank of America etc.). People have been using these loans (called “portfolio finance”) to finance houses, cars, etc. all over the place. I have seen a couple of high-end D4/D6 Dublin houses financed in this way over the last few years. In most cases, the borrower is a “financial type” (i.e ex. trader or investor), or CEO/CFO type.

Obviously this is 2007 “on speed”, and in a major world collapse, would really add fuel to the fire, with forced sales.

I always felt the original sale of 2 Shrewsbury was a cracking deal (should never have sold below even 5m), and the 6.5m would have been a 30% rise on this, which would have been in line with the rise in the general D4 market from the time the original sale was agreed, to the flip to Owen. In fact, I’m not sure that the general high-end D4 market has made much progress since that mini-peak in mid-2013 to mid-2014. Therefore, it would be a stretch to get anything over 6.5m for this now. Particularly, given that the level of extreme demolition has committed Owen to following the ultra expensive re-fit that Max did on another hedge fund manager’s house down that road (i.e. rebuilding and restoring full block-work period walls and period window features). This is +600 sq ft type stuff (as is building deep basements with extensive reinforcement and waterproofing. This is a +4-6m project.

He could always get Knight Frank who would put it up for 10m, and try to hawk it via their UK buyer base !

Alternatively, there is the option of conversion into apartments (per neighboring block), which could justify 6m. However, don’t know if that would get planning here (I don’t know what is left to protect anyway ?).

Yes I’ve seen this a bit too. I met with Julius Baer private banking when they entered the Irish market about 2 years ago and at that time they were not interested in offering ‘mortgages’ per se, but would give you a general (lifestyle) loan on the back of a portfolio at very attractive interest rates. One of the first clients needed the money for a new Bentley :smiley:

Interesting if this is the case for him, as technically you could say that if he had to cash in shares to keep a bank happy due to borrowings relating to Shrewsbury House, then Shrewsbury House has indirectly destroyed an astronomical amount shareholders’ wealth after share prices plummeted on foot of him selling off his holding.

independent.ie/business/iris … 54929.html

Good point SoCoDu.

2 Shrewsbury Road was going to cost Owen 6.5m (buy) + c. 4.5m (build) + c. 1m (fit-out) = c. 12m

If statements about his confidence in future of ARYZTA are true, 2 Shrewsbury Road has cost him a lot more XX

Ouch …