Herald Sun - Property

Grand design to set bells ringing

This rare Geelong conversion is sure to be hot property, write Nicole Mayne and Peter Farago


Aremarkabl­e home inside the transforme­d former Newtown and Chilwell

Fire Station has lit up the Geelong market.

Luxury living awaits behind the restored heritage facade of the 1884 building, which is crowned by a signature bell tower that takes in 360-degree views of the city.

It has been enhanced by a modern extension to stand as a five-bedroom, fourbathro­om home with a plunge pool and a soundproof theatre.

Curved walls, concealed wardrobes and feature lighting lend a touch of glamour to the striking design.

McGrath Geelong agent Jim Cross said converting the old polychroma­tic brick fire station into a bespoke home had been a labour of love for vendor Steven Foster.

Mr Foster designed the family home, and tracked down bricks from the era to restore the facade.

“I knew from the day we purchased the property that it was going to have its challenges,” he said.

“But to be involved in the restoratio­n of such a beautiful landmark, and bring it back to its former appearance, has been very rewarding.”

Mr Foster said he had “worked very hard” to create “a seamless union of the oldworld charm and the contempora­ry functional­ity lifestyle we all love today” at the special home.

“My family have all loved the separate zoned layout, and functional­ity this home offers for entertaini­ng and our lifestyle,” he said.

Mr Cross said the listing offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunit­y for buyers to get their hands on a landmark property finished with outstandin­g detail.

“It’s a truly remarkable residence that offers the perfect blend of style, sophistica­tion and old-world charm right in the heart of blue-chip Newtown,” the agent said.

Entertaine­rs will be in their element in the ultra-modern open-plan living area with a high-end kitchen and cocktail bar. Bi-fold doors link to a private outdoor entertainm­ent area, where there is a spa and a plunge pool that doubles as swim spa.

The ground-floor main bedroom suite includes a retreat, a study, cleverly concealed dual walk-in wardrobes and an ensuite.

Three further bedrooms share the first floor with the impressive home theatre, while a separate studio with an ensuite sits above the double garage at the rear.

The Victorian Heritage Database states that the fire station was establishe­d as a “weatherboa­rd premises” in 1859, with that structure later removed and the brick one built in its place. The database describes the tower as “a noted local landmark”.

The next owner of this charming ’80s townhouse will not need do a thing except move in. “It was freshly painted a few weeks ago,” Woodards Blackburn agent Mark Johnstone said. “It has brand new carpet, and the kitchen has been updated to include new stainless-steel appliances.” The home also offered two spacious living areas, which Mr Johnstone said was “quite unusual” for Mont Albert North. And it boasted a prime position near parks, schools, Eastern Freeway access, and the Westfield Doncaster and Balwyn East Shopping Centres. The pad is one of seven within a “lovely” garden setting and is expected to draw interest from almost every possible buyer type, including first-home buyers, downsizers, families and investors.

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