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Investor and company director Julian Babarczy and his wife and interior designer Olivia, have paid $23.5 million for the Toorak mansion of National Tiles founder Frank Walker and his wife, Rhonda.
The Toorak trophy purchase comes three months after Babarczy sold his Mediterranean style mansion in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, before its scheduled auction for an undisclosed price, understood to be between $25 million and $27 million.
A caveat placed on the Toorak property has revealed the Babarczys have selected the decade-long home of the Walkers as their Melbourne landing pad.
The home sits on a 1350-square-metre landholding on one of Toorak’s best streets – Clendon Road – and was designed by architect Nicholas Day about 33 years ago.
The property recently underwent an interior revamp helmed by the Walker’s daughter and interior designer, Amy Spargo, founder of Maine House Interiors.
Spargo, who discussed the project in an interview with AFR Weekend, styled her parents’ home using her signature heavily decorated style, including hand-painted wallpapers and embroidered fabrics.
The home comes with a pool, tennis court, manicured gardens, lift and conservatory complete with black-and-white chequered floors.
Known for his “Hello, Frank Walker from National Tiles” radio ads, Walker plans to downsize after more than a decade at the blue-chip address. Walker founded National Tiles in 1979, which now has more than 30 stores around the country.
Selling agent Forbes’ Michael Gibson confirmed the sale, but declined to comment further.
Buyer’s advocate David Morrell, of Morrell & Koren, said the sale signalled some rare movement in Melbourne’s top end, which is choked by tight supply.
“It’s like a blocked drain, everything has stopped,” Morrell said. “The buyers are there, but the vendors won’t come and play. I don’t need any more clients, but I need quality properties.”