|BREW LEASE OF LIFE: A three-bedroom apartment on lively East Essex Street in Temple Bar, Dublin 2, costs €1,700 to rent per month. A decent cup of coffee is also conveniently close with the Joy of Chai downstairs. Image via Daft.ie|
When I walk down the likes of Exchequer Street, Drury Street and Fade Street, I often look above shop level to the huge windows and high ceilings of the upper floors and think of how lovely it would be if people (okay, me!) lived there.
There seem to be quite a few commercial properties on streets such as these up for rent. I don't know how complex the re-zoning of commercial to residential is, but I think that Dublin City Council did at one stage have a 'living above the shop'-type scheme.
Again, I'm not well-versed on planning issues, but it seems to me that Dublin's urban sprawl would have been considerably lessened had we followed the example of other European capitals such as Paris and Brussels, where living in the heart of the city centre is the norm.
Most of the buildings in Dublin city centre date from a time where living above the shop was the norm and the buildings were designed with this purpose in mind. Indeed, my dad and his 10 siblings all grew up above their family's butcher shop in Co. Tyrone. But like many buildings of its kind throughout the country, the floors above the shop are now used as commercial premises, rather than as family homes.
|TOP CHOP SHOP: This is my father's family's butcher shop in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, where my dad grew up with his 10 siblings. It's a fine looking building. I like the carved stone sign and the stained glass beneath it, along with the dramatic corbles. The rooms above the shop are now used to house a beauty salon. Thanks to my cousin Paul for sending me this image via Google Maps.|
There are some options, both for purchasers and renters (for whom parking and pet ownership isn't an issue), in Dublin's historic city centre. Here's a selection:
|FIT FOR A PRINCE/PRINCESS: A two-bedroom apartment at 18 The Royal Exchange, Parliament Street, Dublin 2, is for sale at €220,000. Image via MyHome.ie|
|DAME AND FORTUNE: The city is on your door-step with this one-bedroom apartment on Dame Street renting for €850 monthly. Opposite pop-up restaurant Crackbird's current location. Image via Daft.ie|
|BREAK THE BANK: Also on Dame Street, a whooping €1.5 million is all you need to acquire a beautiful five-storey over basement building (above and below) at number 37, which I think may once have been a bank judging by the dramatic shop-front. Directly across from the Central Bank. Its conversion to a residential property could be subject to planning permission. Images via MyHome.ie|
|FADE TO GREY: The location of RTÉ's recent *reality* show, this two-bedroom penthouse apartment in this stunning turreted Victorian building on the corner of Fade Street at is yours to rent for €1,750 a month. One of the best locations in the city. Image via Daft.ie|