Chemist Warehouse scion snares stunning Melbourne mansion

The Hawthorn East block spreads 3340 square metres.


The late Garry Dumbrell spent c$900,000 extending and renovating Ellerslie.

Marcello Verrocchi and his wife, Joanne, have acquired one of Hawthorn East’s most beautiful homes for a speculated $19.5 million.

Ellerslie, at 16 Harcourt Street – considered the suburb’s best road – was offered by the family of late racing car driver and Autobarn founder Garry Dumbrell, who paid mining executive Guido Staltari $16.5m in late 2017, then spent about $900,000 on an extension and renovation.

Ellerslie contains three living and dining rooms.

Designed by John Beswick, the c1891 dwelling contains six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, two studies, formal and informal lounge rooms, a bar and parlour with an open fireplace. It includes three large dining areas too, one which can accommodate a 20 seat table.

On 3340 square metres, the estate is also configured with a tennis court, pool and six car garage off Rathmines Grove.

The Hawthorn East home contains two studies and six bedrooms, each with an ensuite.

Marshall White’s Marcus Chiminello and Sonja Sendin were the agents.

Mr Dumbrell, who died following an accident at Ellerslie in 2021, aged just 64, once held Hawthorn’s dramatic Avon Court, which hit the market last month with a c$40m guide.

Kay & Burton’s Grant Samuel with Ascend Real Estate’s Chen Sun have that listing.

Verrocchis buy another landmark home

Mr Verrocchi, the brother of Chemist Warehouse co-founder Mario, and Joanne, will upgrade to Ellerslie from a c1901 Queen Anne at Broadway, in Camberwell, which cost $6.25m in 2012 (story continues below).

Garry Dumbrell created a parlour and bar out of a lounge and study.

On 3192 sqm, also with a tennis court and pool, agents speculate that dwelling is worth well over $10m today – a potential suburb record price.

Marcello and Joanne Verrocchi failed to obtain permission to extend their Broadway, Camberwell, home.

During 2020 and 2021, the pair unsuccessfully sought approval from the Boroondara council then the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a major extension; amongst the objectors were Visa’s executive vice president Chris Clark and Mary Drost, a high profile heritage advocate who, with actor Geoffrey Rush and comedian Barrie Humphries, is said to have played a major role preventing an apartment complex at Camberwell station over 10 years ago.

Mario Verrocchi scooped up Mt Eliza’s Morning Star in 2020 for c$10m less than the asking price.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, Mario Verrocchi, with a net worth speculated to circle $1.9 billion, owns a 5450 sqm pile in Orrong Road, Toorak, acquired from Norman and Tania Smorgon for $19.2m in 2014.

With a mansion developed in the 1920s, that property has since undergone a major renovation.

In 2020, meanwhile, the Chemist Warehouse co-owner purchased Mt Eliza’s Morning Star for $30.66m, a major drop on the initial ($40m) asking price.

Constructed in 1867 as an estate for the Gillet family and later used as a boys home then reception venue, that holding spreads 63 hectares.

The executive, either individually or in partnerships with other business owners, also holds a significant commercial real estate portfolio including Kindness House, on Fitzroy’s Brunswick St, and retail properties in Kew, near the junction, and Richmond, beside town hall.

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Marc Pallisco

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