Ex-deputy lord mayor flips historic Eildon mansion

Darnlee at 33 Lansell Road, Toorak, is set to become an auction house.

After snapping up Toorak’s Darnlee mansion, Smith & Singer directors, former deputy lord mayor Gary Singer and his husband, Geoffrey Smith, have listed St Kilda’s Eildon, which they bought 15 months ago for the business but never moved into.

Eildon at 51 Grey Street, St Kilda.

The pair are hoping for a capital gain following the exit – the guide of $11-$12 million is against their purchase price of $10.45m, a deal which settled last October.

The relisting of 51 Grey Street is a surprise, with the couple expected to occupy it as a business showroom following a renovation, part of which they started.

Between 2006-2022, Eildon was owned by the Alliance Francoise de Melbourne for a language school.

That group paid $4.15m, and was responsible for the last major upgrade, adding c126 square metres, spending a speculated c$1.5m.

For decades prior to that, the Ymer family owned and occupied it as a guesthouse.


When it was developed in 1855 as Banham House, Eildon once occupied 3.6 hectares (story continues below).

Nowadays on 2203 sqm, it contains 17 car parks.

The Edward Green designed main home, extended in 1872 by Reed & Barnes for pastoralist John Currie – who renamed it Eildon – is one of the suburb’s most significant, according to agents, Kay & Burton’s Peter Kudelka and Damon Krongold with Gross Waddell ICR’s Andrew Waddell and Raoul Salter.

With 19 rooms, some which stretch the length of the ground floor, it also contains a commercial kitchen and basement which could be used for a wine cellar and storage.

A former stables contains another five rooms.

Prestige buyers as well as commercial investors and occupiers are expected to look in ahead of an expressions of interest campaign closing next month.

The vendors retain a Collins Street building for their business, Smith & Singer, which replaced the Sotheby’s they formerly controlled.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.