Medicos offer South Yarra home after upsizing

Abercrombys pulled the Walsh Street home from sale during the 2020 lockdown.

Neurosurgeon Richard Bittar and his wife, Renee, clinical psychologist and managing director of the Precision Brain, Spine and Pain Centre, have listed a South Yarra property for rent after upsizing to Toorak.

The former family home, 135-139 Walsh Street, is asking $4500 per week.

Developer Michael Yates renovated the South Yarra dwelling in 2005.

The pair paid $11m in 2017 to developer Michael Yates who offered it after prestige real estate Michael Gibson decided to build a low rise apartment complex on his then private residence next door.

Marshall White’s Kate Humphreys and Renee Hewstone are managing the leasing campaign; the term is short – up to next January.

The Domain precinct property is asking $4500 per week.

Mr and Ms Bittar upgraded to Palmilla, in Heyington Place, which cost $22.2m – about $6m less than guide – in late 2019.

That seller was John Zeigler, ex-Asia Pacific chairman of marketing agency DDB, and his wife, Lisa.

135-139 Walsh Street

On 802 square metres, 135-139 Walsh St, developed in 1940, was extended and renovated by Mr Yates 18 years ago at a cost of $750,000.

Over three floors, it contains five bedrooms – each with an ensuite – formal and informal living and dining rooms and a study (story continues below).

There is also a pool.

The property was unsuccessfully offered for sale in February, 2020 – just before the country’s first COVID lockdown – for a speculated $20m-plus; Jock Langley of Abercrombys was the agent.

Elsewhere in South Yarra, last month, a consortium including the Smorgon and Kanat families listed the historic Poolman House, like 135-139 Walsh St, in the revered Domain precinct, after deciding against repurposing it as Australia’s first Soho House resort.

The guide is $21-$23m.

In December, meanwhile, we reported Mazen Tabet purchased the Lyall Hotel & Spa on Murphy St for $30.5m.

Now being refurbished, it is expected to reopen later this year.

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Marc Pallisco

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