Mario Verrocchi buying Mt Eliza’s Morning Star

The city view over water from Morning Star.

Chemist Warehouse executive Mario Verrocchi is paying $30.66 million – c$10m less guide – for Mount Eliza’s landmark Morning Star Estate.

The 63.2 hectare waterfront property 54 kilometres south of Melbourne contains a c1867 mansion built for the Gillett family as a summer residence, later used as a boy’s home.

Vendor Judy Barrett has operated 2 Sunnyside Road for decades as a diversified hospitality venue with a restaurant, function centre and reception rooms.

It also includes a winery and established gardens.

Michael Keating International marketing agent Michael Keating told the Herald Sun that since the campaign was launched nearly four months ago, interest came from China, France, Hong Kong, Thailand and the United States – as well as locally.

The buyer, he suggested before that media outlet reported a caveat to Mr Verrocchi, was offshore with real estate interests around the world. Morning Star would be for his family in the future, the broker said.

“It is likely the property will be very, very much loved and rightly so,” he added (story continues below).

The Morning Star Estate deal comes three years after a reported $36.2m agreement with a Chinese developer, fell through.

There are only three homes for sale in Melbourne asking about $40m – two in Hawthorn’s St James Park estate (Invergowrie and Avon Court) and Shrublands in Canterbury.

A Toorak mansion in St Georges Road is reportedly seeking a buyer for twice this value.

Last month a company led by 25 year old Yingzi Xu of China paid a speculated $60m for Fiskville’s 5071ha Yalouk Estate, which includes an 1890s mansion.

In July Mr Verrocchi was part of a syndicate which paid a speculated $12m for Fitzroy’s Kindness House – an three level office with ground floor shops with development upside.

The 63.2 hectare property didn’t settle after a reported $36.2 million deal three years ago.

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Marc Pallisco

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