Ex-Sotheby’s owners land historic bayside mansion

The 2203 square metre holding (outlined) was offered by Alliance Francaise de Melbourne.

Former deputy lord mayor Gary Singer and his partner, Geoffrey Smith, who lead the art house formerly known as Sotheby’s, are outlaying nearly $10 million for St Kilda’s historic Eildon.

On 2203 square metres at 51 Grey Street, the mansion was offered by not-for-profit French language school Alliance Francaise de Melbourne, which paid $4.15m in 2006, then renovated.

Eildon once occupied a 3.6 hectare block with Port Phillip views.

For generations before, the 10 bedroom home was owned by the Ymer family, which occupied and operated it as a guesthouse.

Eildon sold this time around against an $8-$8.8m guide; Allard & Shelton’s Christian Hatzis and Joseph Walton with Abercromby’s Tim Derham and Jock Langley were the agents.

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Developed in 1855 as Barnham House, the dwelling was extended and renamed by pastoralist John Currie about 15 years later.

Alliance Francaise de Melbourne is understood to have spent over $1.5m refurbishing the c126 sqm of internal area (story continues below).

Eildon is one of St Kilda’s oldest properties.

The asset also includes a double storey former stables, 17 car parks and garden.

Despite the sales campaign targeting commercial investors and users, it is speculated Mr Singer and Mr Smith could convert Eildon into a residence; they declined to comment.

The property was purchased by the pair personally – just like their existing home, Toorak’s c1867 Trawalla, which set them back $22m last March.

The couple also own 14-16 Collins St, in the city; held via an entity, it cost $12m in 2016 for the Sotheby’s business now known in Australia as Smith & Singer.

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Marc Pallisco

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