Lemon Baxter director retires after 33 years

Chris Curtain cooking at his farewell.

Now when Chris Curtain describes his mood as the usual “never better”, one might believe it, with the real estate executive retiring as full-time director of the Lemon Baxter company he bought in 1992.

The then-11 year old business had three staff.

Today there are 45.

The agency also now deals in sales, leasing and management – departments established from a high-profile South Melbourne building, 200 Wells Street, on the corner of Park, Mr Curtain owned.

Company headquarters relocated last year to 68 Clarke St, in the suburb.

At that office, like Wells St, the congenial and energetic Mr Curtain put on regular barbecues for staff and clients – with nobody else allowed to cook.

This was no different at his farewell recently.

“It’s been a privilege seeing Melbourne transform into the leading city it is today,” the executive, 60, said.

“I have also been fortunate to have developed lifelong friendships within the real estate industry that I will carry into the next chapter of my life,” he added (continues, below).

Lemon Baxter was for decades at 200 Wells Street (centre).

“King of South Melbourne”

Mr Curtain was a leasing executive when he bought Lemon Baxter.

Since 1992, he has leased over 300,000 square metres – a mix of office, retail, industrial and social infrastructure.

Dubbed by some as the ‘King of South Melbourne’, he also directly sold over $500 million worth of property including an amalgamation in Eastern Road, South Melbourne, to the Fox family, and a St Kilda Road office for Sydney hotelier Jerry Schwartz.

“Over the years, Chris has played a crucial role in the company’s growth, including the recent acquisition of the commercial/industrial division of Dixon Kestles,” managing director, Paul O’Sullivan, said.

“Lemon Baxter has evolved into a market leader in Melbourne’s city fringe and western real estate markets,” he added. “Now…Chris is ready to spend more time with his family and friends, playing golf and relaxing at Blairgowrie”.

With Mr O’Sullivan, Justin Clinch, Chris Chartres, Jay Pavey and Ben Hackworthy are the other key Lemon Baxter directors.

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Marc Pallisco

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