Jack Merlo, Cotton On CEO trade Toorak mansion

Jack Merlo acquired the Linlithgow Road home in late 2020, then renovated.

Gardener Jack Merlo has sold a mansion in Toorak’s tree-lined Linlithgow Road to Cotton On chief executive Peter Johnson and his wife, Kim.

Packaging executive Alex Commins this week listed a Linlithgow Road mansion.

The double storey dwelling fetched $12.5 million – slightly less than the ($13-$14m) guide, but still an impressive capital gain on the $8.15m the vendor paid in December, 2020, before renovating.

The buyers upgraded from Hawthorn East – a contemporary home on 743 square metres in Bethune Street, which sold at auction in December for $5.33m – $780,000 over when it was called on the market.

Marshall White’s James Tostevin and Daniel Bradd marketed that property.

The agency’s Marcus Chiminello, Nicholas Brooks and Sonja Sendin brokered the Linlithgow Rd deal.

The new Johnson digs are near Cotton On founder Nigel Austin’s home of 10 years – on 3901 sqm at the corner of Orrong and Towers roads – previously owned by ex JP Morgan Australia chairman Brian Watson and before that, ex-Liberal party and Carlton Football Club president, the late John Elliott.

Trading up

In one of Toorak’s most exclusive tree-lined rows, the Johnson holding spreads 1215 sqm (story continues below).

Penned in 1927 by Arthur and Hugh Peck, the home has four bedrooms and five bathrooms.

The deal comes two years since Mr Merlo sold 8 Ottawa Rd in the suburb for $23m.

The gardener paid $10.25m for that 1285 sqm property in early 2016 before spending $5.1m, according to records, on a new build with an indoor pool.

Two months ago, meanwhile, an English style residence on 1195 sqm with both Ottawa and Huntingfield road frontage – traded for a speculated $10m.

Also in Ottawa Rd, the Ganeshalingham family late last year listed a 1930s mansion on 1521 sqm at #9 after an opulent renovation – asking $22.5-$24.5m – via Forbes’ Michael Gibson and Robert Fletcher.

Coincidentally, Mr Merlo created the gardens for that home too.

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Marc Pallisco

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