1. Radical Terrace on Hiatus

    Ahoy Radical Terrace readers, I’m going on a hiatus for a bit. Hopefully I’ll be back soon; especially when I think of all the awesome connections I’ve been fortunate enough to establish with Australian property junkies, history geeks, urban planning aficionados, and the like. I shudder to think of denying myself the privilege of further contact with you all!

    In my absence, here are some resources I’ve found to be the most valuable in my research. Hopefully you’ll also find these beneficial as well.

    What House Is That? Truly one of the best resources available. A fantastic primer on the evolution of residential architecture over the course of Australia’s built history.

    NSW Heritage The online database is mostly complete; the search function is superior that to that of Heritage Victoria, but you’ll likely have to try a host of different keywords to find the information most pertinent. 

    Heritage Victoria Unfortunately, for all of Heritage Victoria’s strong points, its online database is not one of them. That said, plenty of good information exists here.

    'Federation House' This Wiki-group possesses a treasure trove of information about Federation home construction throughout Australia, with particular detail toward the architecture of Sydney’s North Shore. They fastidiously site their sources, which proves invaluable to any historic researcher. 

    Miles Lewis Lewis is undoubtedly the foremost urban historian for Melbourne. His site possesses some kick-ass presentations that include many a historic image and map, most of which can also be accessed through the State Library of Victoria. He also hosts a database of prominent Melbourne Mansions, but unfortunately I’ve never been able to access it. Two of his published works - Suburban Backlash and Melbourne: The City’s History and Development (Vols 1 & 2) - proved to be invaluable resources for me in understanding the growth of the built fabric of Melbourne. In particular, Lewis’ attention to parcel and road sizes and planning principles through the last century and a half is definitive and explains why Melbourne today looks the way it does.

    MMBW Maps c1900 Map enthusiasts, rejoice: this is as good as it gets.

    Not surprisingly, the best resources for local history come from local preservation groups. Specific councils typically have heritage resources; however grassroots organizations often hold the best information; notably, Wahroonga (NSW), Glebe (NSW), and St Kilda (Vic) have useful websites.

    And there ya go! Hope to see you all soon!

    - Kyle

  2. Another Harcourt Street Listing Emerges With Initial 8-Digit Hopes

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    'Katoomba', a c1883 Victorian mansion on the über prestigious Harcourt Street in Hawthorn East has come to market with bullish $10m+ hopes, according to Domain.com.au. It’s a rare event that two ‘original’ homes on Harcourt Street are both on market at the same time, but that is indeed the case since Federation mansion ‘Talana’ at the entrance to this grand streetscape has remained on the market for over a year with its now slightly reduced $8m+ hopes

    The initial subdivision of land in this pocket of Hawthorn East occurred in the midst of the Gold Rush. According to a 1993 Hawthorn Heritage Study: 

    With the separation of Victoria from the mother colony of New South Wales and the beginning of the gold-rush era in 1851, the price of colonial land dropped and, as a consequence, there was an increased demand for Hawthorn allotments by eager speculators. The value of these purchases trebled in the next few years. Most notable was James Murphy’s purchase of allotment 70, 124 acres on the north west corner of Burke and Barkers Road, which became known as Murphy’s Paddock. This was later carved up by Murphy in a mid-1850s private subdivision into the Village of Rathmines Estate, which included the important Harcourt Street area…

    Harcourt Street’s staying power since its first subdivision during the Gold Rush years of the 19th Century owes, in part, to the highly rectangular blocks of land. In 1857, we were able to dig up the below parcel map that reveals Harcourt Street’s subdivision (between what is now Barkers Road and Rathmines Road, but what was then referred to as ‘Westmoreland Street’ and the unnamed ‘Government Road’). The area between Auburn Road and Kildare Street - the most prestigious pocket of 1k long road owing to its elevated views - was subdivided into twelve just-shy-of-2-acre blocks of land.

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    The first subdivision of Harcourt Street in 1857, then referred to as ‘Village of Rathmines’.

    Of these original twelve, only one home retains its original parcel size (#5, although even that estate chopped off a small portion of its backyard for the inter-war subdivision of the Maurice Street cul-de-sac at the property’s rear). Even Talana, the show-stopping Federation at the entrance to the road siphoned off three properties (1A and 3 Harcourt Street, 25 Auburn Road) at various times. But that’s a digression. It is unclear to the Radical Terrace how many homes were developed during the Gold Rush era - likely very few - but by the end of the Land Boom of the 1880s, architect John Beswicke’s Italianate designs proliferated on slightly reduced blocks. Beswicke’s designs began in the 1870s and were constructed mostly for his own family - including ‘Carn Brae’ (c1873, 5 Harcourt Street), ‘Hilton House’ (c1880-81, 13 Harcourt Street), and Rotha (1887-88, 29 Harcourt Street). (For the record, although Katoomba held its own amongst its neighbours, it was merely one of at least a dozen aesthetically pleasing homes on the road.) Most parcels were subdivided by owner-developers in such a way as to maintain their Harcourt Street frontage, making the parcel even more narrow. Such narrow parcels are likely the saving grace for Harcourt Street as it greatly reduced the feasibility for parcel subdivision (after all, we all want to front a street!). On the contrary, Barkers Road which was home to a larger number of imposing mansions at the turn of the century than Harcourt Street, possessed many estates that sat on substantial - and square - blocks. These square blocks, along with the increasing traffic of the thoroughfare, paved the way for substantial 20th century subdivisions. 

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    Turn of the century MMBW map shows a nameless Katoomba with a central circular driveway where the tennis court now stands and estensive outbuildings and sheds (above). ‘Katoomba’, interestingly enough, didn’t score a mention as a prominent neighbour in the subdivision land sale along nearby Higham Road in 1900 (below).

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    At the turn of the century, Harcourt Street offered a unique pocket of grand Victorian living. Unlike Toorak, where large estates still existed unfettered and with hefty distances between them, Harcourt Street provided its residents with a unified streetscape of imposing, but consistent housing stock. The above MMBW map reveals Victorian and Federation Free Style homes of comparable size as existed in the contemporaneous suburbs of Malvern and Hawthorn but on far deeper lots, enabling Harcourt Street homes to rest on imposing gardens. According to the aforementioned Hawthorn Heritage Study:

    Recognising the prime hill top location and the genteel reputation Hawthorn had acquired, the Harcourt Street area was amongst the first land to be redivided after the Government block land sales. The enormous block sizes and the desirable location were the key features in what was in effect a speculative mansion house development, promoted by the Beswicke family. Harcourt Street quickly became a fashionable address. Development in Auburn Road and Lyndhurst Crescent capitalized on the existing image to consolidate this region as a highly desirable Victorian period suburb for the wealthy. In contrast, the adjoining Rathmines Village area to the south, developed on the back of the mansion houses with small servicing quarters (Rathmines Grove) and more modest but respectable housing for the middle class. …[This area is of] local significance for the illustration of the flow on effect of early mansion house construction on the type of construction in the surrounding area, creating nodes of high status housing on hills, and is typical of the mixed Hawthorn character elsewhere.

    The St James Park Estate off Shakespeare Grove in Hawthorn East is likely the only extant comparable for Harcourt Street’s homes size and vintage. Which is likely why Katoomba’s highly bullish asking price seems to be directly influenced by Avon Court - one of Melbourne’s most expensive home’s sold which likely sold for slightly above $20m in 2009. Two other sales closer to home also influence Katoomba’s price. East of Kildare Street, Harcourt Street’s prestige slips along with the elevation and features a higher number of early-20th C Federation homes. Among these, 49 Harcourt Street (surprisingly) holds the street price record for its 2010 sale of $7.3m. Furthermore, Strathroy at 482 Barkers Road, an imposing c1882 Victorian Italianate villa that sits on nearly an acre of land on the busy road, sold for a suburb record of $9.0m in 2010, in a vaguely renovated state. Katoomba itself last traded for $4.4m in 2004 and has since undergone an extensive and tasteful renovation that propels its value well into the 8-digits. How far into this unchartered territory will be fleshed out in time. But we’d like to remind our readers that Talana, a home that holds richer architectural heritage, but far poorer interior qualities for a modern family, has remained on the market for over a year with an $8.0m+ asking price. Nonetheless, Katoomba has much going for it: Paul Bangay-designed gardens (fast becoming an imperative for any mega-listing in Melbourne) and interiors by Stuart Rattle, a noted Neo-Classical interior designer. The tennis court, pool, “summer house”, and district views (that once stretched from the Dandenong Ranges to the Bay before the neighbourhood trees matured) certainly help the home’s big price ambitions.

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    The listing: 'Katoomba', 31 Harcourt Street, Hawthorn East

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    Click below for more photos of the interior and a FLOOR PLAN!

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  3. Prestige Slip in South Yarra? Or Just Good Old Fashioned Underquoting?

    'Risby', an immaculately well-kept c1887 High Victorian fronting Fawkner Park in South Yarra, has listed for auction with “expectations around $4m”, just two years after trading for $4.31m. Even more surprising, the interiors seem to have been refreshed since then (or at least a darker stain on the wood floor was implemented with some landscaping improvements). The quick turn-around of the listing coupled with its diminished price hopes from its 2010 sale reminds us of another still-listed South Yarra terrace at 9 Kensington Road of comparable size, vintage, and diminished pricing. It also comes hot in the heels of another prestige listing in Brighton that’s priced $2m below its last sale.  Then again, perhaps it’s just a case of underquoting?!?

    The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home comes with (highly-coveted) garaging for two cars and a plunge pool not frequently found in South Yarra terraces. The interiors are well-maintained and the terrace’s patrician origins are clearly indicated in a floor plan that takes fills its parcel size on both floors and possesses a bay window at the side of the house. Lesser terraces of the same era typically had a reduced upper-floor with an auxiliary kitchen accessed from the outside of the house. This home never had any of those hallmarks of middle class terrace living. In fact, this portion of park-fronting Toorak Road has been desirable since its first development. The road was among the first suburban roads paved in asphalt at the turn-of-the-century (see image below); Toorak Road’s wide and sun-filled situation did not see heavy vehicular traffic until the post-war years. By then, many of the original estates that lined Toorak Road succumbed to apartment block development. Risby, however, survived. (And comes with some damn cool casement windows to boot!)


    Risby’s bay window once overlooked an extensive side garden. Thanks, once again, to MMBW.

    Macus Chiminello and Nicole French of Marshall White have the listing: 82 Toorak Road West, South Yarra

    More listing images, a floor plan, and a site plan can be found below. 

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  4. 'Rosehill Farm' in Prime Kangaloon Lists for $6.7m

    Rosehill Farm, a 111-acre Southern Highlands property with a neo-Georgian manse, has listed for $6.7m. The property - situated at the end of Kia Ora Lane in Kangaloon, one of the region’s most prestigious pockets - was acquired in 2004 for $1.45m as a vacant piece of land that included creek-frontage, a pocket of rainforest, and a unique vistas of tree-filled hillsides. The owners then undertook the construction of a significant estate; and, perhaps even pricier than the home construction, set out to improve the lands with extensive walled gardens, outbuildings, barns, sheds, and flat land suitable for equestrian facilities. 

    The Radical Terrace has actually spent many a weekend at this property and was always impressed with the efficient (and New England-reminiscent) floor plan and the extreme isolation of the property, unique even for the Southern Highlands. The only downside? A pool would have made things a bit more fun, but the muddy damn definitely accomplished much the same.

    Pricing the property with an exact price - $6,700,000 - seems to be an increasing trend in the Southern Highlands, where Rosehill Farm joins about ten other $5m+/100-acre/modern-homestead properties. So the competition is steep, but so is the replacement value for this home. We don’t imagine this property stagnating on the market long, but you never know with the Southern Highlands

    The extensive, improved gardens on the property.

    The listing: 'Rosehill Farm', Kangaloon

    More photos and a FLOOR PLAN below!

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  5. Brighton Victorian Villa Lists for $5m Two Years After Selling for $7m

    'Rolvenden', a c1888 Victorian villa on nearly a half acre block at 139-141 New Street came to market this week. What is surprising is that the asking price is $2m less than the property’s $7.0m sale price back in 2010. Surprising to the Radical Terrace, the listing agent actually responded to our pricing enquiry letting us know that they “don’t have market feedback as yet, but…expect buyer interest to be in excess of $5 million dollars.” Don’t have market feedback? Doesn’t a 2010 sale of $7m indicate a pretty close comparable, seeing that it’s the same house?

    Also a bit surprising is the agents’ recycling of its old 2010 listing photos of the property. Granted, those pictures are sufficient in displaying the positive attributes of the home, but definitely leave questions on the current state of the property on the table, especially when such a drastic price cut in involved. The 5-bedroom, 6-bathroom home comes with a very unique garaging/carriage house accessed via a large pebbled driveway. The home was renovated extensively between its 2003 sale of $2.005m and its 2010 sale of $7.0m

    The home itself is perhaps the most prominent - and certainly the largest - on a relatively desirable stretch of New Street, otherwise characterised by more modest $2m-$3m villas on far smaller parcels. As is typically the case with anomalously large historic homes in inner suburban locations, Rolvenden was among the first to be developed in its pocket of Brighton and sat in relative isolation for its first 30 years. MMBW maps dating to the turn-of-the-century reveal just a modest neighbour to the north, the stately Victorian Italianate ‘Bronte’ to the south (now situated at 2 Sussex Street), and a small handful of homes directly across the street. 

    The listing: 'Rolvenden', 139-141 New Street, Brighton

    Click below for more listing images and the property floor plan.

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  6. $11m Toorak Listing Weirdly Makes No Mention of Its Courtyard

    An aerial image of 8 Whernside Avenue (above) revealing its prominent central courtyard (a feature shared with its next-door neighbour); a floor plan of the courtyard home is below; also note the crazy tennis rivalries that must abound on the block…

    A home that’s always piqued our interest from our Google Maps trolling has come to market, revealing itself and its prominent and unique (for Melbourne) courtyard-centric floor plan. The $11m+ home located on the prestigious Whernside Avenue (between the over-the-top Hopetoun Road and the slightly more subdued Albany Road) last traded hands in 2004 for $5m. The home has been renovated since then and now features extensive use of sandstone flooring both indoors and outdoors juxtaposed against dark window treatments that work well together. Oddly enough, the listing agents make no mention of the home’s most attention worthy feature - its courtyard - only flirting with the idiosyncratic architectural feature by referencing “views of the landscaped garden area”. C’mon guys, spit it out: c-o-u-r-t-y-a-r-d. More tragic is that the listing also fails to make any mention of the architect behind the project; we’d love to know. 

    Surprising to some, the $5m sale of this property in 2004 makes it the priciest home to sell on the block, owing mostly to the fact that the 11 other homes have seldom traded. The petit road is home to some far more impressive homes, most notably the c1877 mansion ‘Whernside’ (née ‘Belcroft’), whose 1916 subdivision led to the creation of Whernside Avenue (see parcel map below). Also interesting is next-door neigbhour 6 Whernside Avenue also has a similar footprint with a prominent central courtyard, making these two side-by-side abodes somewhat anomalous in the Toorak real estate world. 

    The listing: 8 Whernside Avenue, Toorak

    Click below for more images of the property and a site plan.

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  7. A Renovated (and Rare) Freestanding Paddington House to Auction for $3m+

    Freestanding homes in Paddington are certainly unique, as are those with pools, two features that make the c1888 cottage a notable new listing. Even more striking for the Paddington enthusiast is the home’s situation at 4 Cooper Street, a rarely traversed cul-de-sac notable for its hodge-podge collection of apartment blocks, the heritage-listed mansion now known as the Scottish Hospital, the rear access point for the now-desirable Glenmore Road-fronting terraces, and a collection of four freestanding late-19th C Victorian cottages of which today’s subject property is one. Cooper Street began life as the driveway to the c1849 two-storey brick and stone mansion built for a Judge Kinchella. This structure featured prominent terrace gardens that rambled down the ‘Glenmore Hill’ toward Rushcutters Creek, approximately where Neild Avenue now lies. Paddington, which served as a small community of farms and worker’s cottages associated with the nearby Military Barracks began to experience significant infill development beginning in the 1870s and ramping up during the 1880s, at which time 4 Cooper Street was constructed. 


    An 1854 map revealing the location of the Kinchella Mansion - later the Scottish Hospital. Cooper Street approximately follows the boundary line to that property just north of Glenmore Road and west of ‘Vineyard Cottage’. 

    Most development in Paddington occurred when local speculative builders would construct a row of between two and four terraces, typically using architectural guide books as a blueprint. Of course, many exceptions in the suburb exist, including 4 Cooper Street, which was built as a one-off, likely owing itself to its prominent neigbhour and leafy outlook near the top of a hill. By the early 20th Century, Kinchella’s mansion was entirely "encased" by a Federation Arts & Crafts-styled extension; furthermore, the decline of Paddinton’s appeal to upper middle class families opened the door for inter-war and mid-century apartment blocks to develop along Cooper Street. 

    Fast forward to the 21st Century and 4 Cooper Street has experienced a flurry of activity. In 2001, the cottage was sold for $850k, likely in an unrenovated state. In 2003, a DA was lodged with Woollahra Council documenting a $300k extension and pool addition that either did or did not end up taking place prior to the property’s next sale in April 2007 for $1.46m. In 2009, a puny $86k DA was lodged once again for renovations and thus commenced the further transformation of the property. The Radical Terrace does know that throughout 2009, during a time when we lived a stone’s throw from this house, major works were undertaken. The result is exceptionally unique and mostly spot-on, despite a quirky floor plan. The original, character-filled cottage front now contains two bedrooms and the master bathroom, with an extension and a lower ground floor containing the master bedroom and all living areas, respectively. A $3m price for such a home is actually quite reasonable and reflects a price per square metre consistent with other extensively-renovated Paddington terraces in the Five Ways vicinity. Bonus points for the pool and “grassy area”. 

    Pauline Goodyer and Brighid Fitzsimons of goodyerDonnelley have the listing: 4 Cooper Street, Paddington

    Click below for more images and a FLOOR PLAN!

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  8. Well-Executed - But Controversial - Cremorne Point House Flip To Auction for High-$3mils

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    7 Green Street's front edifice today (above); and at the time of its Oct 2009 sale for $1.53m (below).
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    7 Green Street, just a tennis ball’s throw away from the east side of the quant Cremorne Point Foreshore path, will auction off in February with expectations in the high-$3mil range. The newly-constructed home is uniquely positioned for the peninsular suburb where most homes sit under strict heritage protection that make new constructions a rarity. 7 Green Street was the result of a mid-century subdivision of land resting up the hill from the Heritage-listed mansion (turned apartment block) ‘The Laurels’. The home built in the 1960s or 70s was deemed a ‘Neutral Item’ from a conservation standpoint, owing to its incongruous concrete and brick construction in the midst of the dominant Edwardian and Federation style of its neighbours. This all boded well for the current owners of 7 Green Street who acquired the 4-bedroom home on a triangular and petit 400 square metre block in 2009 for $1.53m only to tear down the home and move the pool from the east side of the property to the south. 

    The new construction is a well-executed and understated take on Hawaiian Colonial architecture (despite unfounded estate agents claim of a ‘Hamptons-style’), at least from the exterior aesthetic. The construction of the home, however, was far from understated. A basic Google Search of the property yielded many a North Sydney Council meeting minutes indicating a back-and-forth on every aspect of the home’s construction. One disgruntled NIMBY neighbour went so far as to nark on the owners of 7 Green Street, claiming the "demolition works had been more extensive than [originally] approved" (they weren’t). Lawsuits even transpired from the exchange, costing the North Sydney Council $44k. Way to go, neighbours. You can thank the owners of 7 Green Street later for increasing your home’s value. 

    The resultant 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom home ticks most boxes required of a luxury home on Cremorne Point these days. The addition of an exceedingly large attic-floor bedroom and bathroom even grants the home harbour glimpses. But the Radical Terrace can’t help but wonder if the house flip was worth the headaches (and the cost) the owners likely dealt with over the course of their three year ownership…but, as always, the auction in February will be the judge of that. 

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    The listing: 7 Green Street, Cremorne Point

    Click below for more images of the property and a FLOOR PLAN!

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  9. Palm Springs Meets Palm Beach in Chenchow Little-Designed $3m+ Home

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    Chenchow Little, a cutting edge architecture firm that’s churned out some impressive residences in the last 8 years since forming, designed a single-storey home high on the Bynya Road ridge in Palm Beach that features backcountry views. That home, located at number 60 directly across the road from Jonah’s Restaurant, has just come to market with $3m+ expectations. A steal for the quality of construction, design, and location, but its pricing is likely heavily impacted by the lack of a water view in a suburb that’s nothing short of obsessed with grabbing a slice of Pittwater or the Pacific on the horizon. 

    The current residents acquired what was then a derelict parcel of land in 2009 for $950k and enlisted the help of Chenchow Little to create 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home with clean double-brick and steel beam construction, an impressive open-plan living and dining area and a pool with a leafy outlook. The $3m+ seems modest, especially considering the home’s construction value was likely not far off the $2m differential in the parcel’s purchase price and LJ Hooker Peter Robinson’s ask; all the better for a potential buyer. 

    The listing: 60 Bynya Road, Palm Beach

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    Click below for more photos and a floor plan!

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  10. Radical Home Alert: The Newport Weekender That Gets It Right

    For $1.4m+ you can pick up an instant Radical Terrace-favourite. What likely began as a bland mid-century home perched above the town of Newport and its namesake beach has been transformed into a weekender that looks more original than any “original weekender” we’ve seen. The exposed beam ceiling, bleached flooring, quirky kitchen, and interior fit-out combine mighty well. Nice work, anonymous interior designer/architect. We wish we could give you the credit you deserve!

    The price indication of $1.4m+ is very reasonable, if conservative. Even numbered homes on the Gordon Road cul-de-sac nab a western hillside location with a steep footpath incline to the building lots that are also accessed from a level, rear laneway. Several unrenovated precedents in the last few years have sold on the street in the $1.0m - $1.3m range

    LJ Hooker Newport agent Gordon Spring has the listing: 8 Goodwin Road, Newport

  11. Edwardian Harbourfront in Point Piper Lists with $30m+ Expectations

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    One of the last ‘original’ Edwardian homes on the Point Piper waterfront has officially listed with $30m+ price expectations. Located at #60 on Wunulla Road, the more understated of Point Piper’s dueling waterfront cul-de-sacs, the home was first called Ni-No-Nan after its 1912 construction, a name that has thankfully been lost in time. Historically, the home is significant as one of only a small handful of the original constructions on the peninsula. 

    Point Piper was slow to develop compared with neigbhouring Darling Point. To any Sydneysider at the time of Federation, there would be no question that Darling Point was the most desirable of the city’s suburbs, in large part because Point Piper hardly existed. From 1818 - 56, 190 acres of what is now known as Point Piper sat within John Piper’s estate, anchored by ‘Henrietta Villa’, one of the colony’s finest. Piper’s wealth escaped him and his villa and adjoining land were sold to the Cooper family in the mid 1850s. The patriarch of the Cooper family decided to demolish the now several-decade old neo-classical Henrietta Villa in favour of an elaborate Victorian Italianate design that was considerably cutting edge for the time. ‘Woollahra House’ got off to several false starts but was eventually completed in 1883. 

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    A view of Woollahra House and the bushland of Point Piper (above).

    Through 1898, Point Piper effectively sat entirely within the Cooper family’s Woollahra House estate. At that time, the Cooper family offered the mansion and land to the State Government for use as Government House; an offer which was declined. The new owners, a British syndicate called ‘British-Australian Assets Company’ picked up the property in its entirety in 1899 for £40,000. The company quickly subdivided the choicest parcels of land on the estate for residential home construction. Today’s subject property was a smart purchase (as were any of the west side parcels), for 3 decades later an iconic bridge would be built that would cement the views - and value - for those homes for the century to come.

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    The original 1899 subdivision parcel map of Woollahra Point. The location of #60 is outlined in red.

    The home that now stands and is being offered for sale has maintained its footprint and external Edwardian influences well through the years, despite the interior being effectively devoid of any indication of its century-long history. The 5-bedroom home comes with an American-style floor plan, likely a result of the refurbishment since the home was converted from two duplexes into one single-family abode by current owner John Piven-Large. Direct access to a tidal beach, a freestanding guest house, waterfront pool, and many a sandstone terrace add to the home’s appeal. The price history on the property is ambiguous. While some public sources report a $22m sale, that price is doubtful as it appears in no Sydney price record lists (granted, few such lists exist; none of which are exhaustive, although we’re developing our own in-house list here at RT). Nonetheless, the $30m+ price expectations are likely in direct reflection of the $28.75m 2007 boomtime sale of a lesser home - Routala - that only snags a Harbour Bridge view from the end of its jetty. When compared to Routala, the pricing seems about right. 

    That said, the home joins a small and uncomfortable collection of other $30m+ trophy properties that have languished on the market in Point Piper for a suspiciously long time. Thankfully for each property, their differences are significant. Occupying a vast non-waterfront block is a subdued Leslie Wilkinson-designed mansion with pricing initially in the $30m+ range (that’s likely dropped over the 10 months since coming to market); on the Wolseley Road waterfront is a David Katon-designed modern showstopper aimed to take full advantage of the gun barrel views across Sydney Harbour, initially seeking $40m+; and, of course, there is Altona, two doors down from today’s listing and shopping around a price of US$56.2m. Recently taken off market, Julia Ross’ neo-EveryStyle abode ‘Villa del Mare’ never achieved the $40m+ price it was flaunting. ‘Mandalay’, another non-waterfront mansion in the ‘Caliterannean’ style with access from both Wentworth Place and Wolseley Road spent a lovely full week as a public listing with a $58.5m asking price before being apparently pulled from market. Then again, that clusterfuck seems to have been a mistaken listing in the first place, as noted by Radical Terrace reader Zoe. Go figure.

    Nonetheless, the owner 60 Wunulla Road is undeterred by the lack of record-breaking success of his neigbhours; and the uniqueness of owning one of the last Edwardian waterfronts in Point Piper may very well attract a buyer on the quick.

    The listing: 60 Wunulla Road, Point Piper

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    Click below for more listing images and a FLOOR PLAN!

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  12. Two Listings in Mid-Century Block Looking to Capitalize on Building Refurb (and Campbell Parade’s Prestige Bump)

    The exterior of the recently renovated ‘Mornington’ block at 3 Campbell Parade.

    Back in 2010, hot on the heels of several big ticket sales at The Bondi at 152 Campbell Parade and with several other prestige developments in the works, the residents of the mid-century ‘Mornington’ block at 3 Campbell Parade banded together to refurbish their building to ensure its relevancy in the quickly gentrifying beach suburb. The block enlisted Jaime Kleinart Architects to undergo a $590k cosmetic renovation that saw the building render away its brick facade and add a modern fence and landscaping. The renovation’s objectives worked; and the building that sits at a high point on the southern section of the headland above the iconic Iceburgs saw its first post-renovation sale in August of this year. Unit 6B sold at that time for $2.575m.

    Now, two other units in the block are looking to cash in on the newfound prestige of their block and their suburb. The eight storey building has two apartments per floor of comparable size and vantage points owing to the uniquely well-designed layout of the block. Each apartment has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and tandem parking for two cars (a huge boon for the area). Had 6B not sold for such a bold price of $2.575m, pricing of the two units now listed would be a far more formidable challenge. The reason being that, although the prestige of a Campbell Parade address is, by now, firmly established, Mornington’s position at the southern end where far less high-end new construction has taken place (and the proliferation of backpacking hostels still holds) would soften the price. But thanks to 6B, listing agents Damian Lewis and Conrad Panebianco are on the hunt for $2.75m+ for the top-floor Unit 8A. One should note that Unit 6B mustered a rather basic renovation pre-sale that saw its third bedroom converted to a TV room, and the integration of the kitchen and living room into an open plan (see below for the Unit 6B floor plan). 8A has had no such improvements and would therefore require further capital to maximize its potential value. Perhaps the $250k pricing difference is a reflection on the premium paid for a top-floor unit? 

    Surprising for the Radical Terrace is the pricing of Unit 3B - on a far lower floor and without a balcony - in the low- to mid-$2mils. Although the unit has had the benefit of a wall torn down to accomodate an open plan kitchen/living room, it’s still in rather shabby shape and is shunted on a truly panoramic view. Raine & Horne agent Max Spartalis has that listing and according to his verbiage, "the tightly held Mornington security block [has] just had a multi-million dollar refurbishment". Multi-million? Waverley Council disagrees with that. 

    The listings: 8A/3 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
    3B/3 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach 

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    Unit 8A, above with its view-filled balcony and living room, is looking for $2.75m+.

    Click below for more listing images of both units, along with floor plans for the two listings plus the recently sold Unit 6B.

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  13. 'Once Upon A Time' Was Once in Potts Point, Now in Neutral Bay, and the Top Floor Wants $1.6m+

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    'Once Upon a Time' during its first decade of life on the harbourfront in Potts Point (above), and as seen today along the Neutral Bay harbourfront (below).image

    In November, the Radical Terrace highlighted an beautifully prototypical apartment in the iconic Wyldefel Gardens complex in Potts Point.  Although the bulk of that piece focused on the block’s pioneering use of modernism, we made brief mention of the waterfront boathouse constructed by Wyldefel Gardens owner/developer W.A. Crowle. While developing the cascading block of units, he ensured he maintained the choicest piece of real estate for himself where he built a three-storey modernist structure with heavy nautical references. When the Australian Navy took over Garden Island and reclaimed land directly in front of Crowle’s apartment block and boathouse, the Navy was obliged to move - brick by brick - the entirety of the waterfront structure across the Harbour to a Kurraba Road location in Neutral Bay in 1943, less than 10 years after its original construction. 

    Since then, ‘Once Upon a Time’ as Crowle named it, has been a local landmark, in part due to its location adjacent to the Kurraba Point Ferry stop. After its move, the structure was converted to apartments; one of those apartments - Unit 1 - has recently listed with expectations around the $1.6m+ mark.The block now has two full-floor units (and one smaller unit? We can’t confirm.). Unit 2, on the middle floor unit, identical in size and similar in upkeep to Unit 1, sold for $1.875m in 2010. Unit 1 has been on the market for just over a month through listing agents Richard Harding and Tim Abbott of LJ Hooker MNB. It’s a modest price considering its lower floor comparable, but logical seeing that Unit 2 sold at a bit of a market peak. And seeing that this same unit made a brief, month-long cameo on the market at this same time last year, perhaps the pricing expectations are indicative of the market response at that time. The unit last traded hands back in 1992 for $675k

    Significant work is required to the interior of Unit 1 in order to bring it up to par with other luxurious Neutral Bay waterfront apartments. But the bones are in place, and the making of a large retro modernist loft apartment seems all too easy with the right architect and interior designer. That said, the location of a large, original bathroom in the middle of the unit may provide a bit of a challenge for truly opening up the residence. But with other perks such as an shady, adjacent terrace, a wraparound balcony with original wrought iron detailing evocative of an early-20th C cruise liner, and curved casement windows, for the right buyer this is a true trophy.

    The listing: 1/115A Kurraba Road, Neutral Bay

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    The Harbour Bridge view, one of the perks of the structures migration from Potts Point to Neutral Bay.
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    The Inter-War style (“Art Deco”, but not really…) bathroom in mostly original condition.

    Click below for more listing images and a floor plan!

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  14. Two Terraces for the Price of Three in Woollahra

    A pair of adjoining terraces at 71-73 Moncur Street in Woollahra have listed together with expectations over $3.6m. Such pricing is bullish when considering some other comparables on Moncur Street, especially on the north side of the street. 

    The more desirable portion of the street is the two petit blocks between Queen and Oxford Streets which lack the ear-splitting 389 bus roaring past and possess rear lane access (hello, off street parking!). Fittingly, just one of the three highest prices on the street have been commanded on the block north of Queen Street. #87 traded in 2010 for $4.0m, #50 (south of Queen Street) traded in 2006 for $4.0m, and most recently #35 (also south of Queen Street) traded for $3.8m earlier this year. All three of those comps were recently renovated and rested on 247sqm, 228sqm, and 303sqm, respectively. With 71 and 73 Moncur both clocking in around 145sqm, the combined terraces reflects a similar size and price as the aforementioned sales, yet with interiors that would require at least $1m and one year in order to properly integrate the two. The lack of parking (and the impossibility of adding parking) further deteriorates the pricing hopes for the combo. Then again, it could be argued the value is keeping the two terraces independent of each other and either lease them out or renovate and sell individually, hoping someone will pay well over $2.5m for a renovated terrace without a car space on a well-travelled (but desirable!) Woollahra Road. We may have our doubts, but then again, if it can happen in Paddington, it can most certainly happen in Woollahra!

    For the record, the current owner first picked up 73 Moncur Street for $600k in 1994, then acquired neigbhouring 71 Moncur Street for nearly the same price - $610k - three years later in 1997; making his little Woollahra compound a $1.2m chunk of land. 

    Randall Kemp and Evan Williams of Ray White Woollahra have the listing: 71-73 Moncur Street, Woollahra

    Click below for some lackluster listing photos and no floor plan (womp womp). 

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  15. 'Noorah' Updates its Listing with Interior Images and a Floor Plan

    After a rather coy listing in the first week of November with nary an image of the home itself, Simone Semmens’ cliff top estate in Portsea has refreshed its listing with interior images and - gasp - a floor plan! Also updated was Semmens’ Yarra-fronting vacant chunk of Toorak at 86 St Georges Road, also listed through RT Edgar; that property now has a new aerial photo (woohoo!). Both properties, however, are maintaining their same asking prices: $8.5m+ for Noorah, and only God knows what for 86 St Georges (circa $6mil).

    Noorah now faces competition from a nearby Point Nepean Road property: 3588 Point Nepean Road rests on a smaller parcel of land (about half Noorah’s size), but its location directly atop Sandy Beach is arguably more desirable, as is its price: about $6m. On the downside, the parcel of land has a hefty variance in elevation, requiring a home to built close to the road, with the waterfront chunk of land reserved for a tennis court of boat shed.