Herald Sun - Property

Former post office has stamp of luxury

Artist finds expression in renovation of historic building, writes Mikaela Day

- Nathan.mawby@news.com.au

Aonce-in-a-century opportunit­y has been delivered to the market as one extraordin­ary package. Behind a distinctiv­e 1920s red brick facade, which once housed the George Street Post Office, lies a stately abode that is full of surprises.

It is the first time the property has been offered to the market as a house in more than 100 years. The vendors bought it in 1990, when it was a post office, and completed a full conversion and extension.

RT Edgar’s Sarah Case said they kept a lot of the building’s original charm.

“It still retains its imposing front facade and behind the commanding doors is a grand hallway, the library, (and a) formal living and dining room, which is all is part of the original post office with stunning high ceilings,” Ms

Case said. “My vendors have crafted an amazing extension. They had incredible vision 30 years ago as the property is completely timeless — the new owners can move straight in with nothing to do.”

The library and study are found in the original post office’s second street entry and

former private post box collection area.

Sitting centrally in this zone is a formal living and dining area with a grand open fireplace.

Further on is the open-plan main living zone with a statement kitchen at the heart. The cooking zone boasts a Viking range hood, a handcrafte­d timber island bench and a butler’s pantry. This area leads out to a vine-clad terrace above a lush courtyard.

Three bedrooms and two bathrooms are positioned at the rear of the basement. Each bedroom features custom-designed iron and glass doors that offer picturesqu­e green outlooks to the courtyard.

A sleek den is also found in the basement and boasts a built-in bar, a 1200-bottle wine cellar with a tasting area, and a zone fit for a billiards table.

The main bedroom is on its own floor, alongside an ensuite and a huge walk-in wardrobe.

“Buyers will love (that the home is) all north facing and filled with natural light,” Ms Case said.

A copper-roofed conservato­ry is another highlight. It is used as an artist’s studio, but could become an additional living space or be converted back to its original form — a 10m indoor pool.

“(The pool) is still under the floor and can be easily reinstated,” Ms Case said. “My vendor is a very talented sculptor and artist, so it was perfect space for her and filled with such incredible natural light.”

Ms Case said the lavish listing was likely to gain a stamp of approval from families wanting to move closer to the city.

“East Melbourne is a very tightly held suburb, with only a handful of sales per year for houses. But this property in particular is one of the largest blocks in East Melbourne at 727sq m, so it’s a rare find,” she said. “A lot of buyers will be surprised that such a block of land exists in East Melbourne and even more surprised about the 687sq m of internal living.”

Ms Case added the suburb offered “its own little community”, where residents said “good morning and the locals know each other”.

“With all the fantastic parks and the library just up the road, … it is a wonderful place for children to grow up,” she said.

AMacleod house that sold a whopping $300,000 above the vendor’s asking price has proven “reserves are almost irrelevant at the moment”.

Barry Plant auctioneer Michael Egan made the observatio­n after saying he was not surprised the 94 Springthor­pe Boulevard house had become the second priciest home in the suburb with its $2.1m sale on Saturday.

Four bidders drove the multimilli­on-dollar result from a $1.6m opening bid. The winner bid online from interstate

“Because it’s a flying market, I think reserves are almost irrelevant at the moment,” Mr Egan said.

“Buyers are screaming for quality homes and paying what they have to get them.

“The vendors are over the moon. Though we had that feeling from the start that the reserve wasn’t going to be an issue.”

Meanwhile, a Kensington auction that drew a crowd in the hundreds “like a school fete” soared $555,000 past its reserve a few hours later.

On the first day after restrictio­ns were returned to the COVIDSafe summer setting following a recent snap lockdown, the 21 Bangalore Street home had five bidders help push it to a $1.655m sale.

Nicole Gervasi director Nikki Gervasi said the bidding started at $1.35m — a startling $250,000 above reserve.

“After the lockdown, there was no activity until three or four days before the auction. It was a really late bloomer,” Ms Gervasi said.

The home had been valued by a bank at $1.03m for probate reasons and received 65 inspection­s, mostly from families looking for a renovation project. This made the big crowd and result a surprise.

“For me, that was the biggest crowd since 2009,” Ms Gervasi said. “It was like a school fete.

“So from what we’ve just seen, in Kensington things are absolutely flying.”

Meanwhile, a Thornbury unit sold for $756,000 after attracting six bidders — all of them firsthome buyers.

McGrath auctioneer Luke

Brizzi said the home had a $590,000-$640,000 price guide before auction that would have stretched the same buyers last year. But the 13/184 Normanby Avenue home received a $680,000 opening bid that instantly topped its $660,000 reserve.

“Last year, no one wanted to spend over $600,000, and now it is completely different,” Mr Brizzi said.

“The vendors were ecstatic. On the day they were worried they wouldn’t even reach their reserve.”

National Property Buyers director Antony Bucello said he watched houses at 67 Russell Street, Campbellfi­eld, and at 40 Messmate Street, Lalor, sell more than $100,000 above their reserves on the weekend.

“There is absolutely no recent comparable sales evidence that tells us these properties would go anywhere close to the levels they sold for,” Mr Bucello said.

“Make no mistake — the market is hot.”

Realestate.com.au recorded a preliminar­y 86 per cent clearance rate from 814 auctions last weekend, though 1323 were scheduled. Homes going under the hammer this week will fall to a few hundred due to the Labour Day long weekend.

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 ??  ?? Hundreds turned out to watch the auction action for 21 Bangalore Street, Kensington.
Hundreds turned out to watch the auction action for 21 Bangalore Street, Kensington.

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