An iconic piece of mid-century architecture has been redeemed! After a steady decline from its 1957 construction, the ‘Baxter’ apartment block at 85 Drumalbyn Road in Bellevue Hill has been refurbished by a property developer under the design of architects Melocco & Moore with interiors by degin firm SJB. The block of apartments sold for $4.4m in Nov 2011. Almost immediately after closing on the property, the new owners lodged a DA with Woollahra Council for a $312k renovation, landscaping works, and strata subdivision of the 9 units. Several months later, in June of this year, they lodged an additional DA for a $50k conversion of an office into a studio apartment, bringing the total number of apartments in the block to 10. Although those totals seem to be understatements of any renovation work, if we’re to base our profit breakdown off the publicly available numbers, it reveals some pretty friendly numbers for the developers. The listing agent is quoting the ten 2-bedroom apartments between $695k and $955k.
85 Drumalbyn Road pre-renovation.
The block was designed and built by Hungarian-born architect L.T. Rayner in 1957 as a personal investment property. The architect had just returned to Sydney after completing architectural work for the 1954 Melbourne Olympic Games (and a 1955 Toorak apartment block) and pushed forward the rather daring and modern apartment block in the ‘International Style’ for the steep site, complete with coloured spandrel panels, extensive use of concrete, and a flat roof.
The location is slightly subprime, being in that hiccup of Drumalbyn Road where the road is divided. However, its situation amongst other small apartment blocks is fitting, and the price point is easily justifiable. Radical Terrace is eager to understand how the public market will value such a specific architectural style that, until recently, has not been inherently well-valued by the market. 85 Drumalbyn Road: we’ll be following you.
Chris Russell of Mondell Property Group has the listing: ‘Baxter’, 85 Drumalbyn Road, Bellevue Hill
Click below for the floor plan for that crazy small 10th apartment, and the floor plan for apartments 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9.