Homes which formed entrance to Malvern’s Seeing Eye Dogs HQ fetch $6.85m

A June, 2019, Google Street View image showing the former dog school entrance – which the vendor demolished prior to listing the homes separately this year.

Two homes which formed the entrance to Malvern’s former Lady Nell Seeing Eye Dog School and Rehabilitation Centre, have sold for $6.85 million.

The Thanet Street homes sold for $6.85 million to families which will renovate.

The vendors purchased 16 and 18 Thanet Street in 2002 from the estate of Phyllis Mervyne Gration – the college founder.

They formed part of a landmark 6000 square metre holding comprising 13 lots – dwellings also on Gracie St.

Prestige Homes of Australia’s Sean Cussell, who sold that amalgamation 18 years ago, brokered the two deals.

A dogs school entrance which connected the houses was demolished and each standalone structure underwent a basic renovation just prior to listing.

Both incoming owners, families, intend to continue the refurbishment.

Lady Nell Seeing Eye Dog School and Rehabilitation Centre at Malvern

Ms Gration started the dog training facility at Wonga Park in 1960; at the time the country had one comparable facility, at Perth (story continues below).

It relocated two years later when 16 Thanet St, an Edwardian, was purchased. In 1963, 14 & 14A were acquired.

Eighteen Thanet St was added for $171,500 19 years later, then incorporated with #16 to form the business’ entrance.

Outside of this Malvern pocket, the school bought real estate investments at 10 Leopold St, Glen Iris, and in Dingley.

In 1989, an Attorney General investigation found management had both a $30m property portfolio and was not functioning as a charitable organisation.

The college later fell under Vision Australia’s ownership and moved to Kensington.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, in August, Cadence Property Group paid $14m for the ex-Spotswood Animal Quarantine Station which operated on the 3.8ha Craig St parcel from the 1950s until last year.

In late 2018, Charter Hall paid $118.5m for a portfolio comprising a detector dog training facility at Mickleham, north of Melbourne Airport, and a Sydney equivalent.

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Marc Pallisco

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