Final piece of Ansett Estate selling for $33m

Charles ‘Chas’ Jacobsen is purchasing the significant last piece of Sir Reginald Ansett’s Mt Eliza estate.

The retirement village owner is speculated to be paying the philanthropic R.M Ansett Trust about $33 million for the 22.3 hectare holding which he will retain for personal use – likely cattle grazing.

The price is c$7m less than was anticipated when it was listed last November.

The parcel abuts the 11.7ha Gunyong Valley, which Sir Reginald called home for years and from where he catch a helicopter to his city office.

Mr Jacobsen paid the estate of the late Lady Joan Ansett a then record residential home price of $14.5 million for that part, in 2006.

It has since made way for a family compound.

The latest property, marketed by EY’s Ben Desmond, Marcus Willison and Tim Lewis as “The Ansett Estate”, is Green Wedge zoned, preventing many types of development.

However it abuts the Urban Growth Boundary and was promoted for its potential to make way for a commercial, leisure, hospitality, healthcare or education complex.

In a statement, executor company Equity Trustees managing director Mike O’Brien said “we believe this is a great outcome for the Ansett Trust, which will now be able to invest more funds to its charitable purpose – to assist children to take their place in life”.

“Importantly, we have been fortunate in this process to be able to carry out our responsibility as trustee to act according to Sir Reginald’s philanthropic intent, and also find a purchaser who has a great understanding of the significance of this parcel of land,” he added.

“We believe this is a great outcome for the community”.

In the area Mr Jacobsen holds commercial assets including the adjacent and heritage listed Norman Lodge, and nearby aged care complex The Village Glen.

The businessman is also involved in an airline charter business.

The Mt Eliza deal comes two years after Ryman Health paid the University of Melbourne Business School nearly $40m for the historic Moondah Estate, on 8.9ha next door.

Coincidentally that property was once owned by Sir Reginald too.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and experienced analyst, Marc is the co-founder of