Grand estate listed after Soho House resort plan scuppered

Poolman House was offered for rent at $10,000 a week while the owners proposed a redevelopment.

Trenerry Property Group, Victor Smorgon Group and the Kanat family are selling South Yarra’s landmark Poolman House after plans to repurpose it as a luxury resort were scuppered.

Part of the Soho House project earmarked for 253-257 Domain Road.

On 2753 square metres – believed to be the second biggest holding in the suburb’s exclusive Domain precinct – the property is asking $21-$23 million, according to sources.

The consortium outlaid $18.25m in March, 2021, after a public marketing campaign.

That seller was aged care investor John Matthies, who paid $2.7m in 2000 as a family home.

Poolman House

At 253-257 Domain Road, on the south west corner of Punt, Poolman House was developed in 1865 and extended 95 years ago.

It contains six bedrooms, a study, drawing room, library and internal courtyard. A ballroom is believed to have entertained former federal Liberal prime ministers Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott.

The block also includes a tennis court, pool and gardens penned by Paul Bangay.

Trenerry with the Kanat and Smorgon families was intending to extend and repurpose the property as a members only Soho House branded resort with a 12 key hotel, bar and event space with 3am liquor licence, 21 bay basement car park and oversized pool.

The listing is coming about after that plan was rejected last August by the City of Melbourne (story continues below).

The resort redevelopment was rejected by the City of Melbourne last August.

An appeal later lodged with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal was withdrawn.

Marshall White’s Marcus Chiminello is the agent.

The disposal comes two months since the consortium acquired 256 Crown St, in Sydney’s Darlinghurst, from Centennial, also with plans for a Soho.

More Victorian resorts planned

Trenerry, led by Robert DiCintio, with the Kanat and Smorgon families, is intending to develop a resort like that planned at Poolman House, at a nearby as yet undisclosed site.

The owners recently unveiled plans to repurpose and extend Sherbrooke’s Burnham Beeches.

That project will include glamping elements and an open-to-the-public vegetable garden.

The consortium also recently completed a major redevelopment of Sorrento’s Continental Hotel – a block it picked up part-constructed for $14.5m in 2020 after a former co-owner, Steller, collapsed.

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Marc Pallisco

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