Vaughan Blank drops another $17m at Bondi Beach

A Bondi Beach apartment once owned by Vaughan Blank sold last weekend for $20.1m – a record auction result for an Australian unit.

Commodities trader turned property investor Vaughan Blank has paid $17 million for another east Sydney trophy site.

In 2017 Vaughan Blank paid $33m – a national record for a residential zoned property at auction – for Edgecliff’s Eynesbury (outlined).

The former Westpac bank at 26 Hall Street, Bondi Beach, last sold in 2013 for $6.42m.

The building was vacant this time around; on 513 square metres, zoned B4 Mixed Use and with a 2:1 Floor Space Ratio, it could make way for a c13 metre structure.

Mr Blank acquired it as a long term hold which might be developed.

The property is next door to a historic post office, approved for a four floor project. The beach is about 100m away.

Colliers’ Miron Solomons and Matt Pontey auctioned it last Thursday for Melbourne-based investors George and Heidi Gavdos.

Westpac occupied for more than 40 years.

This month, Afterpay co-founder Nick Molnar spent $18.5m on a 1970s apartment block in North Bondi’s Ben Buckler, expected to be razed to create a bigger yard for his family home.

Last year, Tony Tsakirios paid $25.4m for a mixed-use asset in that suburb, effectively buying out his brother after decades of co-ownership.

That price was $8m over reserve (story continues below).

The ex-Westpac bank is a block from Bondi Beach.

Vaughan Blank and Bondi Beach

In 2016, Mr Blank sold his renovated Bondi Beach apartment of eight years to Mayo Hardware director and yachtsman James Mayo for $9.8m.

Westpac occupied the Hall St property for over 40 years.

Coincidentally, this unit traded again last weekend for $20.1m – the highest price paid for an Australian unit at auction.

Elsewhere in the suburb, the property investor spent $17.6m in two deals, in 2019 and 2020, for neighbouring O’Brien St assets, one which has already had its airspace built into.

In 2017, Mr Blank paid the Babington-Lees family $33m – a record auction result for a residential zoned property – for the 1930s Eynesbury apartment block, on 1296 sqm said to be at Edgecliff’s highest point.

The businessman’s extensive real estate portfolio also includes Woollahra’s historic The Hughenden guesthouse.

In 2014, the executive outlaid $41m for Double Bay’s Golden Sheaf pub.

The investor relocated from Bondi Beach to Watsons Bay’s exclusive Victoria St – also home to film producer George Miller, a neighbour, and Westfield’s Steven Lowy.

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Marc Pallisco

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