Selling a legacy

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A new era for a Toorak icon

20 March 2024

The recent sale of 35-39 Albany Road, Toorak, under the strategic guidance of Marshall White director Marcus Chiminello, has fetched a price above the asking, circa $40 million. This sale reflects the property's value as well as its heritage, being previously owned by the prominent Murdoch and Hains families.

The sale brings to a close a year-long campaign that began in February 2023, the property's first introduction to Melbourne’s prestige market. It also signifies an end to the Hains family's 56-year ownership of the magnificent 10-bedroom, seven-bathroom Georgian Revival mansion, designed by the renowned architect Geoffrey Sommers in 1941.

Purchased by David and Helen Hains in 1968 for $108,000, the mansion entered a new chapter in its long history. The property also holds the distinction of being the final residence of Sir Keith Murdoch, father of Rupert Murdoch, furthering its significance within Melbourne’s high society.

Despite its illustrious past, the estate faced challenges in finding a new owner when initially placed on the market last year, preserved as it was during the Hains' patriarch's time. Touted as the ultimate project for renovation enthusiasts, it momentarily retreated from the market following a lack of immediate interest. The Hains family then orchestrated a cosmetic renovation, revitalising the mansion before re-introducing it to the market.

Marcus Chiminello emphasised the importance of concluding this transaction while ensuring that the new owner would be a fitting custodian for such a historic property, noting the unique considerations that come with handling properties of such calibre and legacy.

The sale represents a significant financial transaction within Melbourne's real estate market and the passing of a landmark property into hands that respect its historical and architectural significance. The thoughtful campaign led by Chiminello and the eventual sale highlight the complexity of balancing heritage, emotion, and the market dynamics that define the upper echelons of Melbourne's property landscape.

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