Balwyn’s landmark The Connault for sale

The Connault is at one of Melbourne’s highest points.

Landmark Balwyn estate The Connault, formerly known as Mary’s Mount and before that, Idylwylde, is for sale.

The historic property at 41-45 Yarrbat Avenue, which for the last 24 years operated as an aged care facility, is being marketed as both a residential and commercial play.

The 30 bedroom mansion occupies a 5017 square metre Yarrbat Avenue block.

On 5017 square metres, some 60 dwellings in structures up to four floors could be considered if the land was expanded as an aged care complex, according to CBRE’s Sandro Peluso, who listed The Connault with Jimmy Tat and Marcello Caspani-Muto with Marshall White’s Marcus Chiminello and Sonja Sendin.

Villa Maria recently won permission to rebuild a historic Kew aged care complex with apartments.

This drops to 32 if The Connault were retained/incorporated into a project.

More than $20 million is expected.

The Connault

Developed from 1930 by retailer Oliver Gilpin – who died before moving in – the estate, originally known as Idylwylde, sprawled eight hectares, up to Winmalee Road.

Eighty years ago, the property sold to the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart which converted it to a convent.

That owner also added a second storey above the garages and named it Mary’s Mount. It demolished a grand conservatory on part of the block too.

In 1978, the property was purchased by the Wesleyan Central Mission which, five years later, subdivided and sold down the bulk for low density housing.

Known as the Mary’s Mount estate, lots fetched between $75,000 and $99,000, Mr Peluso said.

Two dwellings subsequently developed on Sanctuary Close retain parts of a lake Mr Gilpin constructed (story continues below).

The Balwyn property could be extended and operate three times more beds.

At 118 metres over sea level, 41-45 Yarrbat Ave is at one of the city’s highest points.

Aged care

The Connault renovation retained historic features.

The Balwyn property last traded in 1998 to aged care operator Karen Kouzas, who converted it to The Connault.

With 2469 sqm, the residence contains 40 beds in 30 rooms, lounges, dining areas and a library.

Parts of the dwelling are also configured with offices.

Mr Peluso said the holding could be retained as an aged care facility – with the potential to more than double the number of rooms and triple the beds.

Balwyn’s median house price is $2.8m, he added.

Alternatively, another essential services group like a school could find it appropriate, according to the executive.

Prestige home buyers are also expected to look in, Mr Peluso said, with the potential to create one of the eastern suburb’s most exclusive properties.

In 2001, businessman David Crammond paid the Yooralla Society of Victoria $7m for a former mansion-turned-office in Flete Ave, Armadale, later selling part of the land for $2m then renovating the historic home which was divested in 2006 for $13.75m.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of